Place of Origin
Meloncella is a vegetable of ancient origin grown in Puglia for centuries, particularly in some areas of the province of Lecce such as those of Nardò, Galatina, Copertino and Leverano.
It is a cylindrical shaped vegetable belonging to the family of melons, light green in colour with a peel covered with thin hair.
It has a fresh, juicy and crispy pulp, and should be eaten unripe. It is also refreshing and much more digestible than the normal cucumber because it has no cucurbitacin, fat and sugar.
The lemoncella cultivation takes place in fertile and deep soils. Sowing takes place between March and July and harvesting begins after two months.
The plant can produce up to 30 fruits throughout its life period, which is, usually, around 60 days.
Meloncella is consumed raw, added to salads, potatoes and to "Acquasala", a traditional Apulian dish with stale bread or friselle.