What is a Carosello Barese Cucumber?
Imagine you are an tomato gardener and find out a friend is growing tomatoes. You ask them what kind they are growing and they say “Red”. To which you ask them to be more descriptive. They reply “round”. You ask “Can you be a little more descriptive – like what type are they?” to which they reply, “I am growing red round tomatoes”.
Though this hypothetical narrative is very simple, so is the name of the Carosello Barese cucumber. There are dozens of unique carosello cucumber varieties, many of which originate from the area around Barese and also share the name “Barese”. While this particular carosello cucumber may very well originate from Bari, Italy – the variability of the variety as well as the traits that it shares with some other carosello varieties would lead some to believe that it is not a particularly unique carosello variety at all. The Carosello Barese can be incredibly variable not only from one seed supplier to another, but from one grower to another. But what exactly is a Carosello Barese? Generally speaking, a Carosello Barese cucumber is an Italian Cucumis melo (variety chate or Adzhur) that has an oval to cylindrical fruit with light colored exterior. The flesh of this thin-skinned cucumber is tender yet crisp, bitter-free and easy on the digestion. Currently, I know of two different variations of this one variety.
The first type of Carosello Barese is very similar in appearance to the Mezzo Lungo Barese, except that it is not as hairy as the Mezzo Lungo Barese is. The outer skin is light in color and has some furrows spreading from end to the other along the long portion of the fruit. Unlike the Mezzo Lungo Barese, which is much more crispy, the flavor is much more like the Scopattizo Barese. The flesh is a little more tender and slightly more juicy than the Mezzo Lungo (or Medium Long) of Barese.
The second type of Carosello Barese that I know of is much more similar to the Carosello Bianco Leccese or, what I commonly refer to as the Light Carosello Leccese. This variety has thin tender skin and is has a relatively smooth cylindrical surface. However, the last Carosello Barese that I grew was much more variable in shape and growth (some growing bushy, while others grew longer vines) than the Bianco Leccese.
If you grow anywhere where heat is a concern or would just to grow a delicious cucumber for a change, you may want to consider growing the Carosello Barese cucumber. While not always the most consistent variety, they are often superior to many other cucumbers in taste, texture and quality.