I grew out the Badem Acur in 2021 as part of my international cucumber-melon trials. Similar to what Americans would call an Armenian Cucumber, a cucumber-melon is a Cucumis melo that is grown to be picked immature as a cucumber. I acquired this cultivar from a Dutch seed company that had this variety as part of their extensive cucumber seed collection. This was the first cucumber variety I grew out in my spring raised beds.
My experience was that they grew slowly to begin with. This may have been because of the cool night temperatures or because of the pillbugs that continually threatened to eliminate all the plants in the raised beds. While I did have some casualties from the Pillbugs, over half of the Badem Acur did survive and set fruit.
The Badem Acur is a Turkish variety of acur, or melon-cucumber. While Badem means “almond”, it is also used to denote “tiny” or miniature”. This acur variety comes from Antepin, which is the former capital of the Gaziantep province in Turkey. I have also seen it called “the Iyisi of Antepin” meaning “the finest” of Antepin. These small cucumbers grow on compact container-friendly vines. They are very tender and pleasant when 1 inch in diameter, but are great for pickling, stuffing or roasting when full-sized.
While this variety continues to require some refinement for fresh-eating, it has a relatively nice texture and taste. One primary concern is the variability in color pattern and occasional bitterness. There were a small number of bitter fruit in the population I grew. After discovering this, I rouged all of the plants with bitter fruit and all of the fruit from each of the plants. Then I grew all the remaining plants out to seed. Because bitterness in Cucumis melo is primarily genetic instead of environmental, the primary means of eliminating bitterness in the genetics is to remove bitter plants from the population so that they cannot pass bitter genes onto the next generation.
Overall, I would have to say that the Badem Acur is one of the most interesting cucumber varieties that I grew out in 2021. It shows plenty of promise – especially for those who are limited in their garden space or would just like to try growing something fun.