Friday, June 5, 2020

Splotched Dark Carosello Leccese

For the second year in a row, I decided to grow the Carosello Spuredda Leccese. This is a somewhat repetitive name for a cucumber-melon as it literally translates to “Carosello Carosello Leccese”. One of my selections of this variety from last year was an older landrace of this variety, courtesy of my friend Angelo of Amici dell’ Orto. When growing this variety out in 2018, I found that it had some interesting bands of light splotching that decorated the darker colors.

The Splotched Dark Carosello Leccese

April 27th, 2019.

May 4th

June 7th

June 14th

June 20th

June 25th

From the best seed of my 2018 growout, I started out a few dozen soil blocks of Dark Splotched Leccese. As you may recall, the soil was mostly rocky native soil with some weeds growing between the rocks. In the spring, I added a lot of compost, along with a healthy layer of partially composted leaf mulch. The leaf mulch also contained a good quantity of worms. 

July 3rd

July 6th

A mutated vine sent male flowering into overdrive

Despite losing some plants to critters and a few mistakes, most of the plants survived. What I was primarily looking for in this variety was a cylindrical cucumber with distinct bands of lighter green splotching. Most of the plants produced carosello cucumbers with both cylindrical and oval fruit. When looking at these pictures, it is important to remember that this is my least optimal growing space. Though I added good compost, the compost was layered on top of very poor soil in a garden bed that has a very limited daylight. 

July 12th

One of my favorite things that happened when growing this variety out was when one of the little daughters of my Chicken Garden friend came out and asked if she could have one of the splotched dark Leccese. However, instead of asking for a cucumber, she asked if she could have one of the watermelons. I laughed and told her it was a cucumber. She gobbled the whole thing up, then asked for another. Obviously, watermelon colored cucumbers have both visual and culinary appeal.

July 15th

July 31st

August 8th

cylindrical and dark with splotching

Out of all of the Carosello Spuredda Leccese plants grown out in the Chicken Garden, only one plant consistently produced cylindrical consistently lightly splotched bands of green on a dark background. These carosello fruit became the stock for my next generation of Splotched Dark Spuredda Leccese.

A view of the fuzz on the Splotched Dark Carosello Leccese

As for me, the flavor was quite good while the texture was average (for carosello). The amount of water content was somewhere between the more dense flesh of the Carosello Mezzo Lungo (Half Long) of Polignano and the more juicy Carosello Barese.

Some Dark Carosello Leccese for fresh eating

August 22nd

As it goes with seed, it is interesting to note that this variety would sometimes go through my colander and into my garbage disposal. This variety has consistently smaller, more narrow seed than many other carosello, especially when compared to the Carosello Massafra.

August 24th, beginning the harvest for seed.

September 4th

Based on the coloring, taste and ease of this carosello variety, I would definitely grow this variety again. This variety is a keeper and you can anticipate it will hopefully be part of the Cucumber Shop for years to come.

September 10th, 2019 - Dark Carosello Leccese ready for seed harvest

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