The cucamelon is a grape-sized fruit that looks like a miniature watermelon from the outside and like a cucumber from the inside. Contrary to what you would think though, this little delicious snack is not a genetically engineered cross between those two and is actually native to Central America and Mexico where it has been grown even before Western colonisation.
The taste of this fruit is often described as a sour cucumber, but not like a pickle, more like a cucumber with a hint of lime, making it a refreshing summertime snack, and a healthy one too! These nutritious treats are packed with minerals, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants, all while being very low in calories.
Luckily cucamelons can be grown in most of Portugal. It suggested that you start your seeds indoors and only move them out after the last frost of the winter. Once you move them outside, make sure you find them a nice, sunny spot in well drained soil with a temperature of between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius.
This plant will grow into a big vine and can reach up to 3m in height, so make sure it has a lot of space, and if you are planting more than one, leave at least 30cm between them.
These guys are pretty low maintenance and apart from heaps of sunshine and about 2.5cm of water a week, they don’t need much. No fertilisers or supplements are needed unless you start off with very bad soil.
Under optimal conditions cucamelons need about 65 to 75 days to maturity.