Have you ever heard of a cucamelon? That's "cuke," like "cucumber," and "amelon." If you take a look at one, you can see why it has this name. Appearing to be grape-sized watermelons, they actually taste more like cucumbers, with a hint of lemon.
This plant is native to Mexico and Central America, and it’s growing more and more popular in the United States as well. It grows on a vine and only takes about 80 days to grow from seed to maturity, wielding numerous little cucamelons in no time. According to the Huffington Post, you may be able to find these at some farmer's markets, but of course you can also grow your own. It may be easiest to find seeds online, since they aren't widely available yet.
As for the best way to enjoy cucamelons, they can be snacked on all by themselves, used as salad ingredients, pickled or even used as garnishes. Homestead and Prepper, a home and gardening site, reports that using dill and mint during pickling really enhances the cucamelon’s taste. Use them in ways you’d use cucumbers, or find new ways to use them as you grow to learn the taste.
If you’d like to grow them on your own at home, you’ll be happy to know that they are pretty versatile. Cucamelons don’t overrun the rest of the garden if you want to plant them among your other plants, and they can also grow in small spaces like pots or barrels. Just make sure you are prepared for them to grow three to five feet tall.
So, why haven’t we heard of these cute little plants before? It turns out they’ve been around for ages. They were actually said to have been eaten among the Aztecs. In Mexico and Central America, this plant is treated as a delicacy rather than an everyday food. This is probably one of the reasons we haven’t seen it trending sooner.
Now that we’ve discovered cucamelons, expect to start stumbling over all kinds of new and interesting recipes that use them in the near future!