Cucumis anguria L.

West Indian Gherkin can be smooth or prickly. The flavor is the same: reminiscent of cucumber, with a touch of acidity. Although the “thorns” become soft after cooking, many people prefer to scrape the vegetable before taking it to the pot. It can be prepared whole or chopped, sautéed or braised to be eaten with rice and beans, or added to meat dishes. Finely diced or sliced, it goes well in salads, and does not even need to be cooked. Of African origin, the West Indian Gherkin is much appreciated in the Northeast of Brazil, where it is cooked with dried shrimp, dende oil and coconut milk. It is also enjoyed in Rio de Janeiro, in north Minas Gerais, in south Goiás, in Mato Grosso and in Mato Grosso do Sul.