The wonderful farmers at Riverford sent me a sample of cucamelons. These odd little grape sized fruits grow on a vine and have lovely, if somewhat tough, watermelon-like skins.
I tried one raw. Hmm. Not great A bit like a cucumber only blander. Most articles I googled suggest the cucamelon has a sour hint, a little like lime. I couldn’t taste that. They seemed to taste of very little and those tough skins are quite unappealing. So, what is the best thing to do with bland food….make a curry. Or to be more precise, make an accompaniment to a curry.
I opted for a spiced salad/chutney.
6-8 cucamelons – chopped into small chunks
1 tablespoon red onion – finely chopped
1 red chili – very finely chopped
3-4 cardamon pods – take out the seeds and crush
a pinch of cumin seeds – crushed
juice of half a lime
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons fresh coriander – choppped
small glug oil
Place everything in a bowl. Mix and leave for half an hour or more for the flavours to develop. If you leave it overnight the cucamelon skins do soften a little. Serve with popadums
or with a spinach, chick pea and paneer curry with bread
Verdict. I still love Riverford, but cucamelons I can happily live without. Have you tried them? What did you think?