This year I tried growing a few new things in the garden. One of them was Mexican Sour Gherkins. What is so cute about them is they look like miniature watermelons. They are about the size of a large olive and taste like a tart cucumber. They are native to Central and South America and are in the Curcubit family like a cucumber but are not cucumbers but are a cousin being in a different genus-Melothria scabra. They call them Sandita (little watermelon) in Spanish. They are also known as Mouse Melons and other names. They’ve been domesticated for eons. They were very hardy being drought tolerant and both disease and pest resistant.
I grew them as novelty items to try out in martinis in place of olives. They are a vining plant and took forever to grow but once they took off, they were very prolific as pictured above. I harvested them about a month ago and a friend, Mernie, came over and we pickled them using two different recipes. One as a simple salt/vinegar brine with some garlic and red pepper and the other way had all kinds of other ingredients for the martinis.
Well yesterday we opened up one of each jar after letting them soak up all the ingredients for a month. I liked the simple brined ones the best and imagined them in martinis (we just ate them, no martinis yet) or served with a cheese plate. I thought they were both a bit too crunchy so I am taking some of my jars and use the water bath method to hopefully soften them up a bit (we used the refrigerator method on all of them) and see how that is. I do think they will be quite the conversation piece when we serve them with martinis (are you listening Jerry and Laura?)! The rest of you can eat them with cheese!