West Indian Gherkin Cucumber
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West Indian gherkin cucumbers are small and squat, averaging 3-4 centimeters in diameter and 4-5 centimeters in length. The outer skin of the West Indian gherkin is bright green with small spines, hairs, and bumps. The inner flesh is firm and pale green to white with many small, edible seeds. West Indian gherkin cucumbers offer a crunchy texture and strong flavors with some sour notes.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers are available year-round with peak season in late spring.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers, botanically classified as Cucumis anguria, are not true cucumbers but are labeled as such due to its similar appearance and taste. Also known as the West Indian gourd, Anguria cucumber, Maroon cucumber, Maxixe, Prickly cucumber, Burr gherkin, and Cackrey, West Indian gherkin cucumbers are believed to have been one of the first varieties ever used for pickling, which is one of the oldest methods of food preservation.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers are a good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers can be consumed raw, or cooked. They are most popularly enjoyed pickled and can be mixed with garlic, onion, and herbs for flavor. They can also be chopped and minced into relishes. West Indian gherkin cucumbers can be stewed, fried, or boiled and used in meat and vegetable dishes. When consumed raw, they can be sliced and incorporated into salads. West Indian gherkin cucumbers pair well with meats such as beef, chicken, ham, and sausage, vegetables such as okra, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and sweet potato, and tomatoes, garlic, onion, parsley, and dill. West Indian gherkin cucumbers will keep up to a week when stored whole and fresh in a cool and dry place.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers are a common fruit in Northern Brazil and the name given for the fruit, Maxixe, is also the name for a popular Brazilian dance. The dance and fruit originated in Maxixe, Mozambique and slaves brought from Africa introduced both the fruit and dance to Brazil at the beginning of the 20th century. West Indian gherkin cucumbers are also used in cozido, which is a meat and vegetable stew in Northern Africa combining local and available ingredients.
West Indian gherkin cucumbers originated in Africa and were spread to South America and the Caribbean via the slave trade in the 1790s. They were then introduced to the United States and released commercially in 1806. Today, West Indian gherkin cucumbers are available at specialty grocers and farmers markets in Africa, the Caribbean, South and Central America, and in the United States.
Recipes that include West Indian Gherkin Cucumber. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Aunt Clara's Kitchen||Pepino Silvestre & Cerdo (West Indian Gherkin & Pork)|
|Telugu DB||Gherkin Curry|
|Caribbean Spice Girl||Caribbean Sweet Pickle Relish|