Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The 2018 Carosello Tarantino

Having previously grown out what was supposed to have been a cylindrical to oval striped Carosello I had only modest hopes for my experience when growing out the spuredda or Carosello Tarantino. This is not to be confused with the previous Carosello Tondo Tarantino Melone. The seed was, as usual, not exactly what I would have expected. Unless you have grown a carosello variety multiple times from the same Italian seed company, chances are you may not get what you expect. Even if you purchase the same thing as previously, very few companies will go through the work to cull or select to minimize genetic drift or even have someone who knows that the pictures match the actual product. As a reference to previous readers, I referred to this variety in one post last year as the Meloncella Fasciata.

Carosello Medium Long of Taratino, August 4th

June 26th, 2018

July 23rd

July 27th

I started out my growing of the Carosello Tarantino with fairly healthy seed – but I was highly impressed with the soil. The soil of the Fertile Garden enabled me to grow each of my carosello varieties out much faster that I had anticipated. Actually, it is the combination of good soil, full sun, and a plentiful water source that made the plants take off.

August 8th

September 3rd

June 27th

From my past growing of other cucumber-melon fruit, I had suspected that in order to get a juicy carosello variety I would need to have a carosello that started out slightly round at the base, but grew a little longer post that point. The idea is that you get the tender juicy texture of a round carosello, while having the longer shape of a cylindrical cucumber. I started my carosello plants off sometime around June 16th, harvested the first fruit on July 30th and grew them out to seed until around September 3rd. It wasn’t until July 27th that I had a suspicion that I had actually come across something that I had been looking for.

Though, like all cucumber melons, the flesh of this variety begins with a slight fuzz, over time its flesh becomes nearly hairless – with a smooth, almost glossy shine that leads the viewer to almost believe it is somehow fake.

June 30th

By the time I had tasted my first cucumber on July 30th I was quite impressed. The fruit was quite juicy, crispy, yet somewhat tender – with a good flavor. Besides the taste, the color was fantastic. There seemed to have been some carosello that exhibited solid dark stripes with light furrows while others had a more mottled dark flesh with light grooves.

August 1st

Carosello Tarantino

August 6th

Spuredda Tarantino

The fruit would only grow out so long before it began to grow wide. Like many carosello, the fruit is suitable for eating in its early immature stages. As it begins to balloon the plant is indicating that it is beginning seed production.

August 10th

On an interesting note: this variety of carosello is unlike any other carosello that I have ever grown in that it has a distinct smell. It is nothing necessarily unpleasant. The smell of the ripe fruit is very similar to the sappy smell of a mango.

August 23rd

Once I harvested seed of the Carosello Tarantino, I decided to select for the longest fruit. In order successfully determine the dimensions, I decided to use a flexible measuring tape (like those used to measure fabric) to measure the width (or girth) of the fruit. I then measured the length of the fruit. Dividing the length by the girth I obtained a specific number. I used this number to help me determine the order of seed priority for the trait. I then labeled each fruit from A through J (the number of fruit) and saved seed from each fruit, labeling each seed batch.

September 3rd, 2018.

Sorting carosello by desired traits

And here they are - all sorted and prepped for seed removal

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