The Little Pepquino
What if the cucumber and the watermelon had a baby? It's an odd question, but a valid one. The inch-long pepquino looks just like a little watermelon, reportedly tastes like a cucumber, and is the latest thing to hit the western fruit market. This ancient South American morsel is now being cultivated in the Netherlands by Dutch food producers. Certain sources have suggested that the vine-grown pepquino will be available in New York City by this summer. At first glance, the pepquino melon appears challenging. Its resemblance to a melon and small size suggest that it would be mostly made up of rind. While the pepquino does have a rind, that rind is soft and edible. The whole fruit can easily be used as a part of any of the following:
"When it reaches the U.S., the pepquino's versatility should make it a ready addition to a number of popular dishes."
- Stir fry
The pepquino has been compared to grapes and quail eggs in size, and praised for its attractive pattern and coloring. The convenience and beauty of the little melon is making it a trend among European chefs, who often pair it with kumquats. Most of the demand for the fruit has come from hotels and restaurants. Seasonably, the pepquino melon is available in Europe between April and November. European marketers are hoping to sell 50 to 100 boxes of the fruit each week this year. The price will be $10 per box, and the boxes will contain 250 grams of, or about 50, pepquino melons each. When it reaches the U.S., the pepquino's versatility should make it a ready addition to a number of popular dishes. Ideally, the pepquino melon can be stored for up to 10 days when kept at temperatures between 35 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for it in the coming months as a healthy way to vary your diet and put a new twist on old favorites!