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FOOD FUN: Watermelon Cucumbers

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Mini watermelon cucumbers: fun food. Photo
courtesy Melissas.com.
  Cucumbers and watermelons are first cousins. Both are from the binomial order Cucurbitales and family Cucurbitaceae, differing only at the genus level: Cucumis for cucumber (the common cucumber genus/species is C. sativus) and Citrullus for watermelon (C. lanatus).

That’s why you can eat the white portion of watermelon rind—it tastes just like cucumber—or turn it into pickled watermelon rind, a.k.a. watermelon pickles.

And how about these tiny watermelon cucumbers (in photo), an heirloom cucumber variety native to Mexico and South America? They look like miniature watermelons, but taste like cucumbers.

They’re available now at Melissas.com.

The small fruits are often marketed as Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers, although they are not sour. Rather, they have a slightly sweet, refreshing flavor with a hint of lemon. They are cute, crunchy and perfect for pickling.

 
To pickle, use the same recipe as for pickled watermelon rind. The pickles will taste like sweet gherkins.
 
HOW TO USE WATERMELON CUCUMBERS

  • As novelty crudités
  • On skewers with ham and cheese cubes or marinated mozzarella balls
  • Grilled on skewers with vegetables and/or meats
  • Pickled as a condiment with sandwiches, burgers, grilled meat and fish
  •  
    TIP: Always store whole cucumbers in the vegetable crisper section of your fridge.
     
    MORE EXOTIC CUCUMBERS

    Take a look at the lemon cucumber and the crystal apple cucumber which look, respectively, like lemons and apples.
      




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