Grab the Melon by Its Horns

Sharply spiked, thorny, and clad in an arresting hue of traffic cone orange, it was clear that this alien fruit was coming home with me from the moment we first met. It was just too bizarre to put back down, despite its pointed protests.

The kiwano, otherwise known as a horned melon, is truly a sight to behold. It becomes even more alluring once cracked open, revealing downright monstrous innards of large seeds suspended in a jelly-like green morass. Best described as an African cucumber, the flavor is quite similar to this familiar vegetable. Some claim to taste notes of banana and lemon as well, suggesting that it would be well suited for both sweet and savory applications. Unfortunately, the truth is considerably more bitter: The gooey mess is impossible to eat out of hand, watery at best but entirely bland at worst, and overall, quite disappointing.

Talk about misjudging a book by its cover!

That said, it has its charm as an exotic garnish, based entirely on its unnerving, almost unnaturally neon hue. Shock and amaze your friends this Halloween by presenting them with a ghastly glass of rice pudding, topped by this exotic produce pick.

You can’t beat it for shock value, but truth be told… You wouldn’t be losing anything in the flavor department if you left out the kiwano. No recipe needed here, as any rice pudding formula will do the trick. However, consider this your warning: While the kiwano does have horns, it certainly won’t bite back.

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12 thoughts on “Grab the Melon by Its Horns

    1. Aw, but I like pitaya! I think it really just depends on which variety you pick up. Most are rather watery and bland, I’ll give you that, but those that are yellow on the outside tend to be much sweeter. Of course, they’re very hard to find… But worth picking up if you do!

      1. Guess who has a dragon fruit plant growing in her glasshouse? ;) Seriously though, they are one of those things that look fantastic but don’t deliver as much as their appearance would promise. Now loquats, persimmons and mangoes…they deliver! :)

  1. I don’t know, Hannah, based on your description, I think I’d be inclined to let the kiwano decorate the table in all its orange glory, rather than face the inside!

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