Tiny hedgehog cucumbers, cucumis africanus, are usually grown as ornamental. The blurb in the seed catalogue mentions they were historically pickled and preserved, although they are rarely used for such purposes anymore.

I have been looking for any recipes using this cucumber (yes, I picked up the seeds), and have not had any success at all - I would appreciate any help in finding recipes. I wrote to the seed supplier, and have not heard back from them yet (and I am not hopeful, since they are seed suppliers not african-recipe specialists). I found no references at all to "hedgehog cucumbers" pickled, preserved, or in recipes in online searches, and exactly one reference to recipes (not actually included, just suggesting similarity to cucumis anguria) under the scientific name, cucumis africanus - which refers to different varieties in the article, and has pictures that look very different so the mention of recipes may be referring to a different variant. I also looked up "magaka" and "monyaku" (which showed up as possibly local names in the scientific name search), and was unable to find any associated recipes.

I realize recipe requests are off topic, and while I will be overjoyed if someone has one to offer, my question is if someone can point me in the right direction to find them myself, if there are resources to find recipes for this cucumber that someone can recommend, preferably webpages or other resources I can access myself without undue trouble, or if anyone has any tips for how this kind of cucumber (similar to the true-gherkin or cucumis anguria) might have been pickled or preserved, to create my own recipe from. This should be suitably on topic, if I understand the tags correctly.

I am not expecting culinary greatness out of these recipes, I am guessing that the pickles/preserves fell out of favor because they are sour or bitter, since poor flavor (or possibly poor texture) makes the most sense as to why an edible plant was abandoned - given some of the very strange things people eat. Mostly I'm interested a) because I'm curious and want to know what they are and how they're used, and b) as a kind of joke for someone I know who is said to be willing to try anything new and different just-because, and will eat even "poisonous" things (safely prepared).

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This isn’t really an answer about the cucumber you mention, but actually the idea to pickle anything from crabapples to watermelon rinds...

My great grandmother (raised in the Great Depression) made pickled watermelon rinds. I’ll never forget their unexpected crunch and sweetness. Here is a description, but basically sugar and salt them, add vinegar and spices (my grandmother used sumac among other spices) - but I am sure you know how to pickle.

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