Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Carosello Massafrese

For those of you who are not familiar with what a Carosello is, Carosellos are cucumbers that are are a melon botanically and a cucumber agriculturally. This means that they grow like a melon but taste and are eaten like cucumbers - only better! The plant and fruit grows relatively quickly and they are really enjoyable to grow.

The Carosello Massafrese or Splotched Massafra

After trying out the regular round or “Tondo” Carosello Massafra I decided to try growing the Tondo Massafrese. The fruit of the Tondo Massafrese is just like the regular Massafra in shape and taste, except that it has light green splotches on dark skin (or in some cases dark green splotches on light skin). The taste is sweet and savory, yet slightly crunchy.

These Carosello were very fun to grow!

Carosello Massafrese at the harvestable size.

The Carosello Massafrese sets its fruit a distance from the main stem, while the darker Massafra variety sets its fruit closer to the main stem. Though having the fruit set closer to the main stem may be advantageous for some while others may prefer fruit setting farther down the plant.

Carosello Grow quickly

Early fruiting plants can sometimes give all their energy to the first fruits and end up with small fruits or dying early because their fruit growth outpaced their leaf growth. As a result, fruiting plants often produce fruit with large, vigorous seed. Another benefit of plants that produce fruit later on the vine is that the fruit is easier to trellis and keep from slugs or other pests that may be able to eat fruit left on the ground. The Carosello Massafrese is a good cucumber to trellis as my large fruit neither broke the vine or damaged the plant in any way.

Carosello Massafrese at the perfect size for eating

I would highly encourage anyone who enjoys cucumbers to try growing the Carosello or other cucumber-melon varieties. They are bitter-free, easy to digest and delicious.

Carosello are fun to grow and tasty

This variety is now available at


  1. Dear Jay,
    This year I've grown a Tondo Massafrese, a Tondo di Massafra and a Mezzo Lungo di Massafra as well. Actually, I was astonished seeing the Mezzo Lungo with its fruits rounder than the two Tondo (round) and the two Tondo more cylindrical than the Mezzo Lungo (supposed to be cylindrical-shaped). I took a lot of pictures of them to support my statement.
    Happy gardening

    1. I would love to see the pictures and have you be a guest writer on my blog for this subject - if amicidellortodue has not already taken you up on this!

    2. I would be very happy and honoured to be a guest writer on your blog. Would you like me to send you pictures of Tondo Massafrese, Tondo di Massafra and Mezzo Lungo di Massafra first?

  2. You have posted about these and they are interesting...wish we ate cukes...we pickle them only as my hubby does not like cukes except as pickles.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Donna.

      I will have to post about a good pickler sometime.

  3. I have never heard of these! I'll have to try them out. I love both melons and cucumbers, so I'm sure I'd like these too!

    1. Dear Kylee,

      Thank you for the response. There are many cucumber-melon varieties out there. I usually only save enough seeds of various vegetable varieties for myself, but I do have a little shop where I offer these seeds online at


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