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Cyclanthera - a Substitute for Baked Beans

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Cyclanthera pedata is a herbaceous vine, belonging to the gourd family. It's native to Central and South America. The plant is highly branched, has profoundly serrated leaves, which provide it quite a beautiful and voluminous appearance.

Its fruits are long, hollow, with soft walls, sprouting from the axils of the leaves. They are edible and look like small peppers.

Their taste is like a combination of baked beans and cucumbers. They're used as a flavor enhancer for dishes with meat, feta cheese, fish and others.

The ripened fruits are eaten baked, while the unripened ones are put in pickles, salads etc. Its fruits can be pan-fried, breaded, as well as used to make winter pickles.

Stuffed Cyclanthera

The plant grows in primarily mountainous regions. In Europe, the plant yields fruits 2 months after being planted and continues to give an ample harvest until late fall.

Caring for it is just like caring for cucumbers. Cyclanthera pedata begins to yield fruits after the heat waves have passed, i.e. don't expect fruits during summer.