Horned melon

Horned melon

Synonyms:
Kiwano, Melano, Horned cucumber, Jelly melon, Hedged gourd
Plural:
Horned melons, Kiwanos, Melanos, Horned cucumbers, Jelly melons, Hedged gourds
Family:
Cucurbitaceae – Cucurbit family
Species:
Cucumis metuliferus

Plant

The plants look similar to their relatives, cucumbers and melons; creeping or climbing, with rough, hairy stems and great leaves.

Origin

Horned melons come from the Kalahari Desert and are the largest cucumbers that grow in the wild that are found in tropical Africa.

Importations

They come from Israel from July to october and from New Zealand from October to February.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh and seeds.
Inedible:
The skin.
Odour:
It is neutral.
Flavour:
It tastes sourish and refreshing, like mashed bananas with orange juice.
Size and shape:
They are about 15 cm long and oval.
Bowl:
The skin is thick, soft and littered with meaty prickles.
Pulp:
Dark green and gelatinous like ambrosia with small seeds like a cucumber.
Ripeness:
The skin is bright orange-yellow; the flesh is dark green and pleasantly soft.
Overripe fruits:
They feel unpleasantly soft; the flesh smells fermented and tastes nauseatingly sourish.
Unripe fruits:
The skin is green or yellow.

Usage

They may put in sweet and hearty salads as well as eaten raw. Also, the fruit may be made into a sauce for desserts and ice cream or as a salad dressing and a fish and meat sauce.

Storage

Ripe fruits may be stored for 4 to 5 days at room temperature. At post-maturation, they should be stored at room temperature.