|Pretend you never saw this.|
These are Mexican Sour Gherkins! AKA cucamelons. They're all the rage this year in veggie gardening. I mean, as much as anything can be the rage in veggie gardening … which is not a lot, if I'm honest. Sure, there's often a bit of Tomatomania in May, but that's about it. Maybe the occasional hubbub. Purple carrots have been known to cause a hubbub. Oh—and there was that time a few years back when I witnessed a tizzy over beans. No rages, though. (I do wonder how you'd characterize the whole Hatch pepper phenomenon. A movement, perhaps? A falderal? A hullabaloo?)
But back to the gherkins. They're incredible! They're the kumquats of the cucurbits! You grow 'em up a trellis, pick a handful, and pop 'em in your mouth. They taste just like the tiny little, sweet, refreshing watermelons they so clearly resemble and what's more—
—oh, who am I kidding?
They don't taste like watermelons. They're just little cucumbers. Tasty, sure, with a bit of a lemony zing, but it doesn't matter how great a cucumber they are because whenever I pick one my mouth starts chanting, “Watermelon, watermelon, teeny tiny watermelon.” and then practically chokes when it gets cucumber instead. Which would be fine if it just happened the first time and then my brain actually bothered to link the visual cue that whispers “Wee watermelon” to the sense memory that screams “CUCUMBER YOU IDIOT”. But instead my mind just redacts the experience altogether so that I am fooled Every. Single. Time. I eat one.
Like Charlie Brown blinded to Lucy's timeless treachery by the imagined bliss of actually putting foot to ball, I walk past the stripy little impostors and stop in my tracks. What's this? Minimelons!? Don't mind if I do …
And then I bite down, my tongue's feet go flying out from under it yet again, and we're talking a different sort of rage.