Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The cucumber alternative

Let us introduce you to another one of our Andean crops: Achocha. Literally translated from Dutch it is called olive-cucumber; the taste of the fruits is similar to cucumber and they can be picked as small as olives (after this the skin gets tougher and spiky). 

We traded the seeds at a small fair, stuffed it in a pot on the balcony in April, added lots of water, and it just grew! By now we can already pick hands full of olive-cucumbers every day! Oh, and the tiny flowers smell really sweet as well. Contrarily, books and internet sites state that this plant needs a lot of sun and warmth to grow. In Holland the 'summer' just started yesterday; which means that the Achocha grew here within approximately 16 degrees Celsius and almost no sun. 
However, since the funny looking fruits are not very crispy nor juicy, we prefer eating the 'real' cucumber instead. But since cucumbers can only grow in hot temperatures, Achocha is a good alternative for homegrown-cucumber-lovers that do not possess a greenhouse. 

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