Despite the fact that they look like the world’s smallest watermelons, pepquinos (aka cucamelons, mouse melons, Mexican sour gherkins) are actually micro cucumbers. However, as cucumbers are a close relative to the musk melon, those who call them pepquino melons aren’t far off. They look exactly like a 3-4 cm watermelon on the outside, but have the crisp, juicy flesh of a cucumber on the inside.
The flavor of a pepquino is similar to conventional cucumbers, but slightly sour. The skin and seeds are all completely edible.
Despite the fact that these “micro-melons” look like something from a science fiction movie, they are not genetically engineered or modified in any way. They are actually a naturally occurring and quite ancient wild plant from South America that has just been successfully cultivated in Europe and now here in the US.
Storage: Store pepquinos in their plastic clamshells in your refrigerator.
Shelf Life: Up to 10 days.
RECIPES & TIPS
Pepquino cucumbers are the perfect attention grabbing ingredient for salads, garnishes (especially for cocktails!), and other raw applications. Try paring them with kumquats and other small fruit for a super-diminutive fruit salad. They also can be pickled or used in cooked applications like stir fries.
While their visual wow factor is best preserved by leaving them whole, they can also be used as an ingredient in sorbets, mixed drinks, and any other applications where a cucumber would be welcome. They even pair well with dark chocolate.