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Bolivian cucumber

“Achocha” / “Bolivian cucumber"/ "Caigua" Cyclanthera pedata

Cyclanthera pedata “Caigua” , Achocha, Bolivian

Cucumber” and dozens of other local names, is a herbaceous vine grown for its edible fruit, which is predominantly used as a vegetable.

It is known from cultivation only, and its use goes back many centuries as evidenced by ancient phytomorphic ceramics from Peru depicting the fruits.

This annual rampant growing cucumber-related vine easily reaches 5m in stem length so will need a good support to grow up, such as a vine net or a trellis.

 

The mostly single female flowers form on the axis of the main stems, the male flowers on side stems in multiple bunches.

 

Leaves and new shoots are edible raw. The ‘cucumber’ can be eaten at any stage, including raw when small and before the seeds harden. It is similar to a
small cucumber with green bean notes, and when full sized
(80mm long) the fruits are hollow with large black seeds that need to be removed. The flesh, best briefly fried or cooked, are mainly the edible part but it is said that the seeds are also edible.

  • Approximate minimum seed count per pack

    Seeds prefer variable temperatures for germination so do
    not keep the seed tray were there is a uniform warm
    temperature. Seedling grow very rapidly and produce in less
    than 3 months. Best sown October-February.
    15 seeds/packet

  • Germination

    Seeds prefer variable temperatures for germination so do
    not keep the seed tray were there is a uniform warm
    temperature. Seedling grow very rapidly and produce in less
    than 3 months. Best sown October-February.
     

  • Usage

    The fruits are eaten after removing the seeds and stuffing them with other foods like rice or meat, and then cooking them. Young shoots and leaves can also be eaten as greens. The fruits are a source of potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Fruit flavor is similar to cucumber crossed with green bean or otherwise tasteless. 

    Caigua fruits generally exhibit high antioxidant activity but a low total phenolic content, which indicates that non-phenolic water-soluble compounds might be involved. 

     Flavonoids are present in this cyclanthera species, which have antioxidant properties as well and were shown that with a high intake are correlated to a decrease in heart disease

  • Recipe

    Achocha Stuffed with Greek Dilly Yogurt

    2 cups Greek yogurt
    6 or more mature achocha fruits, hollow but still green and tender, sliced in half & seeds removed
    1/2 cup diced immature (solid) achocha fruits or regular cucumber
    1 cup diced tomatoes, drained of excess fluid (optional)
    1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 tbsp minced fresh dill (reserve a pinch for garnish)


    Combine the yogurt with the diced immature achocha (or cucumber), lemon juice, dill, and optional tomatoes and/or garlic. Stir gently until well mixed.
    Spoon the mixture into the center of the hollow, mature achocha halves.
    Garnish with reserved dill.
    Serve!

$5.00 Regular Price
$4.50Sale Price

Winter sale

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