by Alice Levitt
Earlier this week, I was speeding through the aisles just before Healthy Living Market closed for the night, when I spied these:
As a great appreciator of cute food, I found this a must-purchase. I had my first bite in the car on the way home. With a slightly thicker skin than your average gherkin, the berry-sized "Cuke-O-Melon" really did offer a suggestion of eating a tiny watermelon. But the flavor was that of a cucumber with a hint of sour bite.
So what the heck are Cuke-O-Melons? I called Tangleroot Farm's Adam Reed to find out. His vegetable farm is in Gansevoort, N.Y., not far from the Healthy Living market in Saratoga Springs.
It turns out, the little melons aren't bonsais, but a species of their own called Melothria scabra. They're more commonly known as Mexican sour gherkins, cucamelons and, most adorable of all, "mouse melons."
Reed says he found out about them this past spring through a friend who was planning to plant them. "There was very little research that went into them," he says.
He says that many customers claim they've been popping the mini-cukes "like M&Ms." I've done some of that, but have also halved them and thrown them in with cherry tomatoes and chopped local mini-peaches in a salad.
And, lucky for me, Reed says he just harvested three more cases to send to Vermont today.