What is a Cucamelon?

cucamelons look like a mini cucumber or gherkin
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We’ve been growing cucamelons for a number of years, but we’ve found not too many people have heard of them. So, just what is a cucamleon? Possibly the most important thing to note is that they are great in gin …

cucamelons look like a mini cucumber or gherkin
Cucamelon vine

So, what are these Cucamelon things? Well they grow on what can only be described as a rampant vine. Once the plant starts going, it goes mad so you need to get some sticks and netting so that the cucamelon plant can scramble and climb.

We housed the plants in our wooden Alton Greenhouse so there’s plenty of natural daylight. We were a little late sowing the seeds this year (end April) and we are expecting the first fruit sometime mid-August. Once fully grown, the cucamelons themselves are only around 4cm long but there’s likely to be hundreds of them.

What does a cucamelon look like?

“They taste like a sour melon but look like a mini cucumber or gherkin.”

Serving Suggestions – best ways to enjoy a cucamelon

As I hinted at earlier, cucamelons are absolutely fantastic in a gin & tonic. Well, they are reminiscent of a cucumber, so it’s sort of a given. One particular gin we found works really well with a cucamelon accompaniment is Edinburgh Gin’s Seaside Gin. This gin has a backnote of saltiness, so the cucamelon really complements this.

Another way to enjoy them is in a salad. I like to chop them and mix with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and crumbed feta cheese.

Do you grow any unusual fruit or veg? We’d love to hear …

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