Cucamelons

By Michele


While shopping at a Green Market in New Jersey, I came across this cute fruit that looks like a tiny watermelon. I was encouraged to pop one in my mouth and experience its crunch and flavor. My curiosity led me to immediately ask the vendor to “tell me about them.” Here’s what I learned.

Cucamelon is a fruit and member of the Cucurbitaceae (cucumber) family. It goes by many names, including:

  • mouse melon

  • Mexican melon

  • Mexican sour gherkin

  • Mexican sour cucumber

  • sandita, which means little watermelon in Spanish

This one-inch fruit looks like a mini watermelon, has the crunch of a cucumber and features a tangy, sour flavor. They have a thin but firm skin and a pleasant, juicy interior. They taste like a cucumber with a burst of citrusy tartness from the skin. Cucamelon is also jam-packed with nutrients and can even be considered a superfood.

Other than a simple snack food, it’s versatile as well. To that end, I decided to make a Cucamelon Salsa and was delighted with the result. My recipe is below:


1 cup cucamelons, sliced

2 scallions sliced thin, white part only

1/4 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley or cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with tortilla chips, over fish or over a salad.


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