Last Saturday I was at the Farmer’s Market when it opened so I could get the best pick of the veggies, nothing much different than usual, but that was about to change. While talking to one of my favorite vendors, I was told that there was something I just had to see. A minute or two of rummaging later I was handed something that looked like this:
What in the world was I holding? It looked like a tomato, but felt solid like a squash of some sort. Was it a fruit? A vegetable? I asked what it was and was just told where to go get them and that my question would be answered there. I wandered down to the booth, which ended up being Black Sheep Farms, and saw a whole basket of these items. Again I was at a loss as to what I was looking at, so I had to ask the vendor. Proudly he plucked one out of the basket and handed it to me. “So, you want to try one of my lemon cucumbers?”
Wait… this weird looking orb is a cucumber? Cucumbers are tube-like and green, this was… not. I sat and talked with the vendor some more and he told me that they pride themselves in not growing the “usual” stuff people expect to see. “Many people just want to come and buy round red tomatoes, long green cucumbers and all the other ‘normal’ products you see in a store. I want to introduce people to older heirloom varieties that they may not have seen before.” This definitely fits that bill. I asked him about the taste, whether the “lemon” part of the name included the flavor, but he told me that while it looks unique, it pretty much just tastes like a cucumber.
I paid him for two of the interesting veggies and continued on my way, wondering if these were really cucumbers or perhaps some sort of alien egg. I guessed that either I’d have a tasty snack or end up with a creature bursting through my chest, either way, an interesting day.
Once I got home and put everything away the first thing I did was call Jess into the kitchen to show her what I got. She shook her head and informed me that I’m a sucker for weird stuff and the vendors must see dollar signs when I walk by. She may be right, but the more important thing is that I have a weird yellow orb that I’m told is a cucumber. I must slice it open and see what happens, that is the only fact. Alright, let’s slice…
Holy cow, this thing looks even stranger when sliced open. I mean, well, it looks like the inside of a cucumber, if that cucumber was a citrus fruit. It was now time to bite the bullet and taste this thing. It tasted…. well, it tasted like a cucumber. Not citrusy zing, no weird alien texture, just a nice refreshing cucumber.
So why would one want to buy this? Well, first of all, it looks cool. I mean, c’mon. Secondly, if you want a slice or two of cucumber on your sandwich, this guy is perfectly sandwich sized… hands down. Third, “normal” cucumbers look a bit, well, boring. It is a salad staple, but a boring one, wouldn’t a bright yellow and green cucumber spice things up a bit? Finally, if you don’t buy this breed, farmer’s may stop growing it, and if they stop growing it, it could be lost forever. Do what I do, go looking for “weird” foods like white eggplant, yellow cucumbers, purple bell peppers and white carrots… you’re doing everyone a favor.