My first time eating an Armenian cucumber was during my trip to Antalya, Turkey. It was a hot day in June and there was a cart full of this refreshing fruit. Next to it was Turkish ice cream. For some reason, that day I opted to taste this peculiar cucumber-looking fruit. I’m glad I did since it surely quenched my thirst. It also made me feel more energetic despite hours of international flying.
When I came back to the U.S., I couldn’t find it in grocery stores. A couple of years later I stumbled across some seedling in Home Depot. My Armenian cucumber now adorns my fence and I harvest 1-2 times a week. When I looked up its pharmacological properties, I found that it’s more than just a thirst quencher. It is also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that help with maintaining brain, cardiovascular, and liver health. Click on this link or scroll down below to find my Armenian cucumber salad recipe. This dish is easy to prepare and it can boost your health.
Armenian Cucumber Background
The Armenian cucumber is also known as snake cucumber, snake melon, and Cucumin melo var. Flexuosus. Although this fruit belongs to the same genus as cucumbers, it is more closely related to cantaloupe, honeydew, and Crenshaw melon. Its taste, however, is closer to a hybrid between a cucumber and zucchini.
It is an ancient crop with roots in the Middle East, Asia, and northern Africa. It’s a great garden variety in Los Angeles since it can tolerate a lot of heat and it’s quite productive even in small spaces. One fruit can feed a whole lot of people since it can grow up to 30-36 inches long.
Armenian Cucumber Phytochemistry
Like its cucumber cousin, Armenian cucumber is a good source of vitamin A, C, K, and potassium. Most impressively, it is purported to have antioxidants that have neuroprotective effects. Analysis indicates that Armenian cucumber extract contains linoleic and linolenic fatty acids that increase the body’s antioxidant activities. These essential fatty acids play an important part in reducing brain inflammation. It also contains some tocopherols which are linked to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation . In the medical community, there is a consensus that inflammation is the root cause of many degenerative diseases. Consuming antioxidant-rich natural food such as Armenian cucumber can reduce inflammation and protect against many disorders.
Benefits of Muskmelons
- Good for digestion
- Reduce risk for cardiovascular disease
- Regulates blood sugar levels
- Promote hair growth
- Helps with dehydration
- UTI prevention
- Protect liver and kidneys
- Prevents stone formation and bone loss
If you are interested in reading more about Armenian cucumber benefits, check out this research paper .
Armenian Cucumber Salad Recipe
- 1 large Armenian cucumber (peeled)
- 1 ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ¼ tsp salt
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 0 min | Ready in: 10 mins
- Dice the Armenian cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
- Mix Armenian cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Place in a sealed container and chill for at least 1 hr. Serve and enjoy!
Chef’s Notes: Any cucumber variety goes well in this recipe. You can also add additional nutrient-dense ingredients such as chopped chives, basil, black pepper, dried oregano, olive oil, or lemon juice. The possibilities are endless, but when I’m low on time, this 3-step recipe is my go-to.