This Mexican Cucumber Looks Exactly Like a Tiny Watermelon

Ingredient Intelligence

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Say hello to the Mexican cucumber, the most adorable fruit (or is it a vegetable?)!

The other weekend when I was browsing the tables at the farmers market I came across the most interesting looking fruit. I'd never seen anything like it. This little fruit was the size of a large grape, and looked like a miniature watermelon with its oval shape and variegated green coloring. Have you ever tried one?

The market attendant must have noticed the bewildered look on my face because the next thing I knew he was standing next to me encouraging me to have a taste, and told me that these were not adorable mini watermelons, but Mexican cucumbers.

As you bite into these watermelon look-alikes you find out pretty fast that they taste nothing like watermelon at all. Mexican cucumbers, which are also known as cucamelons, have a savory taste, exactly like traditional cucumbers but with a hint of tangy lemon flavor. The firm, crunchy exterior gives way to a soft, gel-like center that's lined with seeds.

Choosing & storing Mexican cucumbers

You're most likely to find Mexican cucumbers at farmers markets between late July and September. Alternatively, if you have a green thumb and enjoy gardening, these are very easy to grow at home.

Fresh Mexican cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

What to do with Mexican cucumbers

You can eat Mexican cucumbers exactly as you would regular cucumbers. So far my favorite way to enjoy these little cucumbers has been adding them to salads. You can slice them in half or leave them whole, and they add a nice crunch. You can also pickle them or add them to a batch of salsa.

→ Visit a grower in Ohio that grows these (and other weird stuff!) The Chef's Garden: A Very Unusual Family Farm on Ohio

Have you ever tried Mexican cucumbers?

(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)

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