Horned Melon – Review

800px-Kiwano

So I kind of got on a roll for fruit tasting and the second thing I’d never tried that I took home with me from the grocery store is a horned melon or Kiwano. It comes from West Africa and has been called all sorts of names like jelly fruit, melano, hedged fruit or my favorite: blowfish fruit (totes looks like a blowfish, just draw on googly eyes and fins)! This fruit is kind of neat to look at with its bright orange spiky exterior, and I should note that although the spines aren’t sharp they are quite hard so it’s not really something you want pressing into the palm of your hand. Hold with care. 🙂

So, how do you eat this thing? Well according to internet consensus you probably want to wash the outside to remove any possible pesticides and then you slice it open and get the shock of your life as the inside of these is a shockingly bright green! It’s really neat to look at but it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.

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The edible part inside is the green jelly that surrounds each seed, and the seeds themselves are edible, and kind of like cucumber seeds in texture. You can eat it by squeezing the half fruit so that the seeds slide out into a bowl, use a spoon and eat it right out of the fruit, or you can slice it into wedges and suck the seeds from the rind, or hold a seed in your teeth and individually suck the jelly off. I tried all four techniques but since eating the jelly off each individual seed would take all night I just ate them seeds and all, and although it is a bit messy spooning it right from the fruit worked fine for me, you just have to be a bit careful as the seeds will kind of squirt out all over the place if you aren’t.

For flavour I found this fruit way more enjoyable than the last one, as its kind of tart and tangy and to me seemed most like Kiwi. Some people have mentioned it’s flavour is a bit like lemon, cucumber or banana, but although I can see a slight lemony flavour I didn’t taste banana or cucumber at all. I would absolutely buy this again, although at about $4 a fruit at my local grocery store, it’s on the expensive side, so I’d probably see if I can shop around and find them for a bit better price, on sale, or toss some seeds in a pot and see if you can grow my own.

Another interesting note is that the fruit made a cameo on TV’s Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode 6/24 as a “Golana Melon”. It seems a natural at playing alien fruit.

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So, have you tried, or would you attempt to try a Kiwano? What do you think of this horny, alienish little fruit?

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