Harvesting and storing Mexican sour cucumbers, also known as achokcha
Do you know Mexican cucumbers? Well, you probably do. Caigua (achokcha) already has a pretty strong position in our markets. The lost crop of the mythical Incas is a delicious vegetable. It is a cross between peppers and cucumbers. Cyclanthera pedata, unlike peppers and cucumbers, it is not susceptible to various fungi and it does need plenty of space to grow, and if you care for it properly, you will have a rich harvest.
How to grew achokcha
In this article we shall focus more on harvesting and storage, but we will give you few tips how to grow achokcha too. You should definitely sow achokcha after May 25. Find a sunny place with nutrient-rich soil. We recommend using a regular cucumber net to help achokcha crawl. You do not need to tie it as it grows. The only thing you need to pay attention to is to protect it from eager snails. Water regularly and you should be fine.
A great harvest in the middle of the summer holidays
Achokcha’s vegetation period ranges between 90 and 110 days. You will see first fruits at the end of July or at the beginning of August. Pretty soon. After that the plant keeps producing and producing fruits. Young fruits that look like pods, or smaller squashes, taste the best. When ripe, they are hollow and you should harvest fruit when they are between 4 and 10 cm. You can eat achokcha right away, just avoid fruits with black seeds. If you store achokcha in a refrigerator it will last up to 14 days.
Photo: Radek Štěpán
Great for cooking
You may use achokcha in various salads or you may marinate it in olive oil and produce an exotic delicacy. Ripe fruits are excellent in stewed vegetables with eggs, sausages and pepper. Fruits can also be pickled in a sweet and sour marinade. If you have a really big harvest, you can freeze the fruits and enjoy it later in winter.
Preview photo: Radek Štěpán
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.