Kiwano Melon – How to eat a Horned Melon

What is kiwano melon? ….it’s a fruit, also known as a horned melon and an African horned cucumber; it originated in Africa, but is becoming popular around the globe, mostly because of it’s interesting appearance. Check out the video to see how to eat a kiwano and, if today is payday, go ahead and pick one up at the market …it’s a pricey piece of fruit.

How to Eat Kiwano Melon

  • Kiwano Melon will last several months when stored at room temperature.
  • Kiwano is also called a horned melon, and an African horned cucumber.
    Its taste is mild to slightly citrus with comparisons to lemon, kiwi, and cucumber.
  • Kiwano is a variety of melon, and grows on the ground from a vine.
  • Buy a kiwano melon that is orange in color, the more orange the better.
  • Unripe kiwano is hard and green, but as it ripens, it colors to yellow and then to orange.
  • It is edible at any stage as it ripens. When overripe, it will burst.
  • Kiwano can be sliced open and eaten raw.
  • The inner pulp and seeds are edible. Kiwano has a high water content, and lots of seeds.
  • Eat the fruit directly from the gourd or remove the pulp to use in a recipe.
  • The decorative kiwano gourd can be incorporated in kiwano dishes.
kiwano melon

Kiwano is filled with an edible, seedy pulp

Kiwano Melon Fun Facts

  • Kiwano was used as a prop in an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine, staring as a “Golana Melon” from planet Golana.
  • Kiwano is sometimes called “blowfish fruit” because it looks like …a blowfish.
  • Because of its high water content, kiwano is prized in African desert regions.
  • Some varieties of kiwano have smooth skin (also known as “boring kiwano”).
  • Kiwano can be tied to the end of a stick and used to kill your enemies.
kiwano melon

kiwano has hints of citrus and cucumber

In the Northwest USA where I currently live, kiwano melon is found quite readily in local markets, but it is expensive.
At the local grocery in my neighborhood, this horned melon sells for $7.99 each. Yikes!
It’s a bit pricey, but if you have expensive tastes and like a piece of fruit that looks cool, give kiwano a try.

Or try Dragon Fruit …an equally cool and potentially overpriced piece of produce.

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–Chef Buck


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