Cucumbers can be tricky to grow in a hot subtropical climate like mine but I have found a cucumber which thrives in hot and humid conditions and it's called the West Indian Cucumber. The fruit is small and bite sized and is best harvested when young at no bigger than two inches.
Due to the size and mild taste of the West Indian cucumber it lends itself well to pickling so I thought I would share a few images and of course the recipe.
More about the West Indian cucumber
I've only been growing this variety of cucumber for one season so I still have much to learn about this fruit/vegetable plant. Here's what I know so far:
*Check out the other tabs for my pickling recipe and method.
- Size - It's a small cucumber with a vigorous vine growth which takes over a garden bed making one or two plants plenty for most gardens.
- Fruit - The fruit develops extremely fast from flower to picking fruit in a matter of days not weeks. The small spiny melon type cucumbers do have more seeds than other popular cucumber varieties. I'm yet to let any of my fruit mature enough for seed collection (because we've been eating and pickling them) so I can't comment on fully mature fruit. The spikes or spines are slightly more prominent than regular cucumbers but are easily rubbed off with a tea towel to produce a smooth oval fruit.
- Disease resistance - There are other varieties of cucumbers which handle hot and humid conditions OK but this is by far the most disease resistant cucumber I have seen apart from the African Horned cucumber which is virtually inedible as far as I'm concerned.
- Taste - It's quite a mild cucumber and they are a great snack straight out of the garden. Yes, there are a little more seedy than most cucumbers; however, the seeds are soft, tasty, and do not detract from the eating experience whatsoever. Just the same, I suspect if the fruit is left to fully mature the eating quality would diminish so picking the West Indian cucumber young is the way to go.
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