Caigua, Cyclanthera pedata, is a slender vine that grows 10 feet in length with long tendrils for climbing. It produces pale green fruit that is 4-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Edible are the fruit, seeds, and leaves, the flavor is similar to sweet peppers.
In Peru, the fresh fruits are typically put into a blender and juiced. The juice is taken in 1/4 to 1/2 cup amounts twice daily. The fruits are also simply eaten as a vegetable, either fresh or cooked, in salads, stir fried, or stuffed with meat, fish or cheese and rice mixtures and baked in the oven. There is a great buzz in medical circles at present concerning the medicinal properties of this plant.
Other Names: Archuchas, Caihua, Slipper gourd, Lady's slipper, Sparrow gourd, Stuffing Cucumber. Achole, achocha, Momordica pedata, caigua, achoccha, achojcha, caiba, caihua, caygua, concombre grimpant, korila, kaikua, lady's slipper, pepino de comer, pepino de rellenar, pepino andino, slipper gourd, stuffing cucumber, taimia de comer, taimia de cipo, wild cucumber