A close relative of the Pepino Dulce and possibly the wild ancestor from which it was bred. Tzimbalo looks similar to its close cousin, pepino melon but is much smaller [roughly 1 inch round]. The flavor is similar in some respects but has more of a tangy kick to it with hints of its distant cousin the cucumber, where pepino dulce is mildly sweet and not as juicy. If eaten before fully ripe it can be extremely tart. Don’t eat the peel as it leaves a very bad taste in your mouth, to enjoy this fruit it should be skinned.
The greenish yellow skin takes on a creamier hue and the white flesh turns yellow when fully ripe.
Tzimbalo can endure temperatures as low as the mid 20s [F] for short duration’s, but does best in warmer climates. Leaf drop usually occurs even after a brief chill. It does do well in greenhouses in cooler regions.
The plant itself is a shrub that reaches 1 to 3 feet in height. The fruits are born in clusters and ripen to a pale greenish yellow with purplish streaks.
Considered part of the nightshade family along with tomatoes and eggplants and should be kept in the same temperature range when grown indoors.
Full Sun Water Generously
Germination Period 20 to 25 days
Fertilize as you would tomatoes only when flowering has begun.
Susceptible to any diseases that effect nightshades. Also prone to feeding by aphids, white flies, spider mites and some beetles.