A Quick Guide To Cucamelon Berries

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You may have seen these adorable little cucamelon ‘berries’ on your social feeds and in my posts and wondered what they are. This post is all about these cucamelon berries, what they are, how the cucamelon berries taste, how to use them, and more!

Cucamelon berries in a small bowl

What is a cucamelon?

Cucamelon (aka melothria scabra) is a small, natural (non-GMO) fruit, the size of a grape, native to Mexico, referred to by many names, including mouse melon (Sandia de ratón), little watermelon (sandita), Mexican sour gherkin, and Mexican sour cucumber are all names used to describe this fruit.

Unsurprisingly, the ‘cucamelon’ looks exactly like a miniature version of watermelon on the outside, with cucumber-like insides. However, they are actually neither. Instead, they are part of the cucumber family, but a different species (Melothria scabra).

Cucamelon berries held in a hand

Growing cucamelons is also fairly simple. Not only is the plant often ignored by pests, but it also grows well in areas of drought, hot weather, and cooler climates (as long as there’s still sunshine). In general, it is very easy to grow – taking just a few months and not much space. 

Their health benefits

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of research surrounding the health benefits of this grape-sized fruit. However, I’ve come across various sources that claim cucamelon can help reduce the risk of stroke, contains heart-healthy properties, and even anti-cancerous properties. They are also said to have a high antioxidant content, Vitamin C, E, K, Potassium, and fiber.

In fact, several sources consider them a type of superfood.

Cucamelon berries held in two hands

What does cucamelon taste like?

Cucamelons are refreshing and slightly tangy in flavor —likely owing to their “sour cucumber” moniker. Many describe them (and I agree) as the flavor of cucumber soaked in lime juice.

I don’t find them overly sour or, at least, not enough to consider them “sour cucumbers.” However, I find the flavor crisp, fresh, and slightly sour.

Where to find them

This really depends on where you live. Though they aren’t available in many mainstream supermarkets, I have found them at farmers’ markets and the occasional independent store. You can also buy the seeds or grow-your-own kits and grow the cucamelon plants easily at home.

How to store

I prefer to store cucamelons in the fridge alongside cucumbers. However, they can also be stored at room temperature for a long time.

You’ll notice when they’re past their best as they begin to shrivel and lose their crunch. At this point, they can still be used for flavored water and alcoholic drinks.

How to use

There are several main cucamelon recipes and ways to eat cucamelons. Here are some of my top picks and suggestions. 

Veggie platter with rainbow veggies

More ingredient guides

If you want me to write a post all about growing cucamelon seeds at home, then let me know in the comments. As usual, if you have any questions, ask them below too!

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  1. Laurel says:

    Where can I purchase Cucamelon seeds?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Laurel,
      Depending on your country, you may find them online or check with some local plant nurseries. Or if you find cucamelons, you can remove the seeds from the fruit and plant those. Let me know how it goes.

  2. Bb says:

    Do these make a person burp like regular cucumbers and (silly question) since they are climbers can i plant them in hanging baskets or will they “climb” themselves.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi there,
      I’ve never had any issues with these.
      You can plant them in hanging baskets. 🙂

  3. Renuka says:

    Cucamelon grows by planting the thick stem of the plant

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you for the information.

    2. Mike Reynolds says:

      Hi I have some cucamelone plants growing in my polly tunnel they have reached the roof but all they are doing is to send out new shoots. They have produced some very tiny flowers which turn into a fruit the size of a grain of rice and that’s it they are not getting any bigger. I have tried removing some of the side shoots but it makes no difference. Why am I not getting any edable fruits?

      1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

        Hi Mike,
        Maybe you should also remove some of the fruit, not just the shoots, so the plant can grow the rest of the fruit. Maybe you can also consult with a gardener in your area?

  4. Renuka says:

    Cuca melon is very tasty in raw version for salads,pickles , sambar,thoran,sauted,curries etc. in kerala, India we use it like this way, its good for gut health.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Renuka. These are great ideas. 🙂