While in Florida this past weekend, I ate the vegetable pictured above. Or rather I should say that I choked down two bites of it, grimacing, and then guilty threw the rest away. I have no idea what it is or why anyone would want to eat it.
It seemed to be some variety of bitter melon, though the ones I've had before were more smooth and less warty. Also I've only had bitter melon cooked, though the vendor my mom bought this vegetable from said that it could be eaten raw, like a cucumber. Right.
Its similarities to a cucumber ended after being an oblong green thing that technically you could bite into. Unlike a cucumber, I didn't want to chew or swallow this, let alone turn it into a cool, creamy soup or de-crusted sandwich filling. A broccoli rabe and garlic mustard-loving nontaster, I was surprised at my lack of tolerance, but my gag reflex spoke for me.
Maybe I'm not giving it a fair shake, though if you did shake it, the little green warts fell off, which did not make it any more alluring.
Maybe if, like the bitter melon I've eaten, this was cooked with complimentary seasonings and salty bits of animal flesh, it would have been more palatable. As is, it was part vegetable, part emetic.
So what on earth was it? A snozzcumber?