choose firm, unblemished cucumbers.  Check for sport spots, especially at ends.  Avoid cucumbers with yellow streaks, as they are past their prime.  Refrigerate unwashed in a plastic bag for up to 1 week.

Wash the cucumber well or, if necessary peel to remove waxy coating.  If the cucumber is very young, the seeds are tender and do not need to be removed.  As the cucumber matures, the seeds become bigger and more bitter.  To remove seeds, slice in half lengthwise.  Drag spoon through the seeds to remove them.  slice an inch from each end of the cucumber, as bitterness tends to gather there.