Fresh Kiwano Melon
Approximately 1-3 pieces per lb., each piece baseball sized (about 8 lbs.)
California or New Zealand, depending on availability.
Though they look like fruit from another planet, kiwano melons (aka African horned cucumbers, English tomatoes, jelly melons, horned melons, hedged gourds) are actually African in origin.
On the outside, their bright, colorful, and oddly shaped outer husks are inedible, but make them popular decorative fruit. Once sliced open, their exposed inner cavity is revealed to be filled with large seeds enclosed in lime green jelly sacs. These can be scooped out and consumed with the seeds (like pomegranate arils) or squeezed for their juice. Their mild, refreshing flavor is cucumber-esque, with hints of citrus or zucchini. Kiwanos are very high in vitamin C.
Store horned melons in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.
Up to three months.
RECIPES & TIPS
Often seasoned with a pinch of salt or a little sugar, kiwanos’ inner juice sacs can be consumed as a snack, tossed in fruit salad, or used to top ice creams and custards. If the juice is squeezed out, it can be used in sauces. For an unusual presentation, consider using the cleaned out husk as a serving vessel.
The whole melon can also be cut into wedges or slices and served. How you cut a kiwano (crosswise, lengthwise, or into wedges) will have a dramatic effect on how the inner fruit looks, so experiment for different, but always striking, presentations.
Kiwano seeds make a striking cocktail garnish, and can be blended with simple syrup (how to make simple syrup) for mixing with other beverage ingredients.
Flavors that pair well with kiwano melons include coconut, tropical & citrus fruits, yogurt, honey, star fruit & cream.