Achocha (Cyclanthera pedata) has anyone ever grown/ eaten them ?

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larry_stewart

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Im going away in August for a few days. Every time I go away, I always research the areas looking for new culinary experiences ( I try to get things I've never eat before to expand my culinary knowledge, techniques and tastes).

I came across this restaurant that advertises itself as a ' Central European Fine Dining Restaurant'. I checked out the menu, and the first appetizer was pickled Achocha. Having never heard of it before, I did a little research to find it is a Peruvian Inca Crop.

I never had it before, and think its kinda cool, so I am intrigued.

One question is, what is the connection between Central European cooking and Achocha ( since it is Peruvian) ?

Second, Im curious if anyone has ever cooked, eaten or grown this before . The restaurant claims to grow their own. If I like it, clearly Ill try to grow it myself.


Background Info from Wikipedia:

Cultivation
Cyclanthera pedata is grown at small scale farming in mountain areas of Mexico, Central America and South America.[2] It is sometimes cultivated in Asia.[2] This species can be grown in mountain areas up to 2000, being adapted to cool temperatures.[2][4]

Vernacular names
Known in the Andes as caigua[4] or caihua[4] (possibly from Quechua kaywa);[5] also as achocha[4] (possibly from Quechua achuqcha).[5] In English it is named stuffing cucumber or slipper gourd.[2] In Costa Rica it is called Jaiva. In Darjeeling, India its called Chuchay Karela.
 

pepperhead212

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Tried growing it one time. Never got a single fruit from it, as they succumbed to SVB before it even flowered. Never had one from an ethnic grocer.

That Indian name for it is strange, as Karela is their name for bitter melon.

 
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taxlady

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Tried growing it one time. Never got a single fruit from it, as they succumbed to SVB before it even flowered. Never had one from an ethnic grocer.

That Indian name for it is strange, as Karela is their name for bitter melon.


My guesses are:
  1. This vegi might be similar to bitter melon.
  2. It may refer to Karela cuisine, from the South of India.
 

pepperhead212

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My guesses are:

  1. ...
  2. It may refer to Karela cuisine, from the South of India.
This is a common and easily made mistake, confusing karela - the bitter melon - with Kerala - the state on the SW coast of India. I know this one well - some of my favorite dishes are from that region, as they use a lot of coconut, like Thai food! For such a small region, they produce an incredible amount of coconut, cashews, coffee, tea, as well as black pepper, cardamom, and a number of other spices.

 

taxlady

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This is a common and easily made mistake, confusing karela - the bitter melon - with Kerala - the state on the SW coast of India. I know this one well - some of my favorite dishes are from that region, as they use a lot of coconut, like Thai food! For such a small region, they produce an incredible amount of coconut, cashews, coffee, tea, as well as black pepper, cardamom, and a number of other spices.


Oops. I hadn't even heard of Kerala cuisine until yesterday. I guess I wasn't paying close attention to the spelling. :doh:
 
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