By Lorraine Goldberg

Possibly the cutest fruit in the world showed up on my dinner plate last night. Behold, the tiny cucamelon:

Cucamelons in hand resized. Photo by Seattle Urban Farm Co.

Like a baby watermelon, but with cucumber cred. I've been seeing them everywhere on social, so I was thrilled when they arrived in my salad at Seattle's Bastille. See them peeping out from under the couscous in my dish of Sungold tomatoes with couscous, smoked yogurt, cucamelon, and parsley:

Cucamelons in my salad at Bastille. Photo by Lorraine Goldberg

What is a Cucamelon? It's a grape-sized fruit that grows on vines, also known as the Mexican sour gherkin or melothria scabra. It looks like a baby watermelon outside -- but more like a cucumber inside, as you can see in the picture above. It tastes like a cucumber, but a bit sweeter, maybe with a hint of lime -- nothing like a watermelon.

Finding Cucamelons

Cucamelons are showing up in some specialty grocers, and you can grow these babies yourself! You'll probably need to find the seeds online (try West Coast Seeds, RareSeeds, and even Amazon has them, though they're close to sold out). The plants are fast growers -- take just a couple of months to mature, and you can grow them in barrels or pots, so they're perfect for apartment dwellers and decks. Since they're vines, you'll also need a trellis at least 3 feet tall.

Cucamelon plant at Bastille resized. Photo via Bastille

How to Eat Cucamelons

Pick them from the vine and eat them raw or in salads. They're also delicious pickled. And if you're lucky like me, they'll show up as a sweet surprise you when you're dining out sometime.


Related: How to make pickles

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