Jamaican Burr Gherkin
At first glance this fruit might not look too appealing, but with these cucumber relatives there is more than meets the eye.
The Jamaican Burr Gherkin (or West Indian Burr Gherkin) is pretty wild looking but the spiky burrs on the fruit are actually not that sharp at all.
In terms of taste, the flavor of the Jamaican Burr Gherkin is akin to cucumber but it can also be cooked to bring out a very nice zucchini-like flavor.
When growing these, make sure you give this plant some room to ramble or, more ideally, grow up a trellis or vertically—your back will thank you when it comes time to harvest the one-to-two inch sized fruit. Harvested at this size, the fruit is nice and tender. By allowing them to grow any bigger will stunt the vine and cause the fruits to become very seedy.
Perhaps the best part about growing Jamaican Burr Gherkin is its resistance to insect or disease. I haven’t seen a striped cucumber beetle near these plants this whole season.
Jamaican Burr Gherkin can be used raw in a salad, just like cucumber, or it can also be cooked like zucchini. So find a spot in your garden for this wonderful exotic fruit! It should last you until your first frost or until you can’t handle harvesting it any more.