The other day, a friend of mine showed me a photo of something I had never seen before. It looked like a miniature yellow watermelon on the outside, with white flesh and cucumber seeds inside. I asked what it was, and she said: “It’s a lemon cucumber!” A lemon what? “Imagine a lemon and a cucumber got married and had babies.” Well. I love to munch on diced cucumber doused with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt, and this pretty much makes that a one-step snack! Needless to say, I’ve been on the lookout for those babies ever since.
I did a little bit of research, and it turns out lemon cucumbers aren’t a new thing—they were just new to me. And I know there must be countless other as-yet-unknown fruits and vegetables waiting to be discovered by more than the fortunate few who already enjoy them. They fly under the radar, like those really interesting, complex, fascinating introverts hiding out somewhere, the ones everyone falls in love with once they get to know them.
Let’s shine some light on them and get the love-fest going, shall we? Tell us:
What’s your favorite not-so-commonly-known fruit or vegetable? Which one was your latest or strangest discovery?
Was it a combination of more common varieties, like a pluot (plum and apricot) or broccoflower (broccoli and cauliflower)? Or maybe it was just a variety you’d never seen before. Naturally, some fruits that are native to certain areas are considered exotic and strange in others, like the dragonfruit, custard apple, or the kiwano or African horned melon seen above, described as a mix of cucumber, lime, and banana. (Must be some kind of sibling rivalry going on with the lemon cucumber.) A recent trip to Thailand introduced me to finger ginger, which was very different from the ginger (dubbed “boring ginger” by our guide) we usually see here stateside. I also discovered tiny Thai eggplant, which I had never seen before. And by tiny, I mean the size of wasabi peas. Wild. Or maybe you can tell us about something you saw at a farmers market that looked so interesting, you simply had to check it out.
Let’s give all those fruits and vegetables their time in the sun! (Unless, of course, they need shade.) We want to hear all about them. Share below!