Cucumbers

These Italian cucumbers were given to me by Roberta, a seed saver friend in Parma, Italy. They were given to her by a local grower who grows outside of Parma. The carosello and the rogue of the species Cucumis melo L., which represent two types. Cultivation is widespread in Puglia, some estimates speak of about 200 acres and goes back several centuries ago. Originally from Asia Minor, also cultivated in N. Africa, Egypt, Syria, Israel.  The young, week-old fruits are used as cucumbers.  Between the two World Wars they were on sale in markets in Turkey, but are now being replaced by Cucumis sativus cultivars. These are rare in the US, only 5 seeds per pack.

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Massa Frassese- The larger variety used as a cucumber it has refreshing light qualities. Great when young but flavor grows with the ripening.
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Mezzo Lungo Barese- Formerly called Cucumber Carosello Barese – Light green, oval cucumber/melon. White flesh, 4 inches long. Mild tasting and very productive. Grow on a trellis.
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Poligna No Sembra un Piccolo Melone- These were the crowd favorite. Used in a syrup for the the Seedhouse annual tasting, once overripe this had melon flavors that are heavenly fruity.
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Spuredda Leccese Scuro- Fuzzy smaller version of the melon cucumbers that have a lot of visual and culinary appeal.
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