What’s a Cuculoupe?

What do you get when you cross a cucumber and a cantaloupe? If you are a Louisiana farmer you get national exposure and chance for your unusual piece of produce to be gobbled up on air by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

“It’s good,” said Ripa on Wednesday morning’s “Live with Regis and Kelly” show. It’s like a “less-sweet cantaloupe” that would be “very good with vodka.”

With that said thousands of viewers have been clamoring to take a bite of their own “cuculoupe.” That’s what the growers of the Louisiana-grown oddity named it. The Dusenbery family of Houma, Louisiana says that the “cuculoupe” has been called everything from a “vegemelon” to a “fregetable.” Whatever you call it, the family says their edible creation is a result of the cross pollination of cucumber and cantaloupe plants. The plant actually yielded four, yard-long, melon like fruits (or vegetables).

During “Live with Regis and Kelly,” the yellowish meat was served on a platter with a little salt and pepper and yogurt dipping sauce on the side. After reluctantly downing his first bite Philbin spoke by phone with Tim Dusenbery who turns out is a musician by trade, not a farmer. (By the way he says he has since written a song about the family’s strange “cuculoupe.”) Dusenbery said the yellow meat of the cuculoupe is firm and tasty. “It’s much longer than it is wide, like a cucumber, but yellowish and rigid, like a cantaloupe,” Dusenbery said.

Since the show aired, producers have received a myriad of e-mails from viewers about other cross-pollinated creations. Among them are the “eggwelon” which is a cross between an eggplant and a watermelon; the “squashadew” a squash crossed with a honeydew melon; and the “zucelope,” a zucchini crossed with a cantaloupe.

Hungry anyone?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.