Outdoor cucumbers tend to be firmer than their cossetted indoor cousins, and usually have thick prickly skins that need to be removed before eating. You can get long-fruited and fairly smooth-skinned varieties (like "Marketmore"), but the ones that do best outdoors are short fat spiky ones like the "Delikate B" and "Vorgebirgstrauben" varieties I am growing this year.
I have 3 plants of "Delikate B". Here they are, growing up their 6-foot Hazel poles:
They are very prolific. At present I'm picking on average one fruit per plant per day.
Just when you think you have picked the lot, you notice another cluster of little fruit!
I also have 4 plants of "Vorgebirgstrauben", which is a variety recommended for pickling. With a name like that you will have guessed that it comes from Germany. I bought my seeds in the Lidl supermarket. We don't like the continental / American-style pickled cucumbers, but my wife Jane is very fond of the tiny ones known as "Cornichons", which are very immature fruits picked when they are only an inch or two long - and then pickled of course. My plants have pumped out a steady stream of these things, and they have duly ended up being pickled, like this...
Jane has been experimenting with different types of vinegar for these. The jar on the Right is filled with traditional ready-made spiced Pickling Vinegar, which is quite brown, whereas for the jar on the Left she has used white pickling vinegar. The recently-added cucumbers are quite a bright green colour, but they soon fade to a dull grey-green (which I think looks rather unappetising). Apparently they are crisp and tasty, but they are just not the sort of thing I like. I prefer the fully-grown cucumbers served as a traditional salad ingredient.