Wordless Wednesday – Achochas: Echoes of the Incas

Achochas - Cyclanthera pedata

Achocha (Cyclanthera pedata) is a Peruvian/Bolivian staple curcubit from the same family as courgettes/squash/cucumbers. This photo shows a golf ball-sized variety called ‘Fat Baby’.


Achocha are vigorous climbers using corkscrew tendrils to scramble upwards over frames and trellis etc. Flowers are borne in small clusters.


Those nasty looking spikes are actually quite soft (a bit like a child’s toy) and edible. At this stage the whole fruit can be eaten raw and tastes similar to a cross between pea pods and cucumber. Delicious!


As the fruit matures the seeds harden and turn black. At this point the gourds are better cooked. They are particularly lovely fried. The flavour becomes sweeter and stronger, more akin to green peppers or pimientos de Padron … even more yummy!


I am also growing Giant Bolivian Achocha (slightly chewed around the bottom by deer unfortunately).


It has similar flowers, but prettier leaves.


Giant Bolivian Achocha will grow much bigger than ‘Fat Baby’ (~6 inches long) and are relatively smooth skinned. They are good for roasting or stuffing.


Book – The Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation

Seeds – 3 different Achocha varieties are available from The Real Seed Catalogue


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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7 Responses to Wordless Wednesday – Achochas: Echoes of the Incas

  1. Chloris says:

    Weird and wonderful. I’ll give it a try next year. Where did you get the seeds?

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Never heard of these, they sound quite intriguing. Thanks for the profile!

  3. sharonfreedman says:

    Very impressive healthy-looking plants, great achievement.

  4. Pingback: Six on Saturday 08-05-21 – Fred, a French Gardener

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