Armenian cucumbers, or yard long cucumbers as they are sometimes called, are long, slender light green vegetables that are famously used as Painted Serpent Melons. Armenian cucumbers where first thought to have been cultivated in ancient Mesopotamia, first traded by the Egyptians and later the Turks who introduced them to the people of China, India and Japan. In the Middle East, they are always used without peeling whether they are eaten raw or cooked. Favorite ways to enjoy Armenian cucumbers include sweet and spicy dill cucumber salad, exotic watermelon radish and Armenian cucumber salad, Western Armenian cucumber salad and Armenian cucumber soup.
Yard Long Cucumbers
Armenian cucumbers are actually part of the melon family of plants, muskmelons to be exact. You can tell they are not really cucumbers because Armenian cucumbers can grow really long, sometimes as long as 3 feet, which is why they are also, called the yard long cucumber.
The legend goes that Armenian cucumbers where left to grow as large as possible so at the end of the garden season, they could be turned into painted serpent melons as part of a Medieval harvest festival in the 1400â€™s. It was believed that it would thank the spirits for the harvest and bless the following years crops.