This horned melon is also called African Horned Cucumber or Kiwano. Horned Melon is a fruit that is a cross between a melon and a cucumber. It is also nicknamed “Blow-fish Fruit”. It is native to southern Africa and grown in the United States, Portugal and New Zealand. The outer flesh has distinctive spikes or horned protrusions that are responsible for this fruit being referred to as the horned melon. It is also called Kiwano, which was derived from New Zealand where the fruit was named for its resemblance to the kiwi, with its bright green inner flesh that is jelly textured and filled with soft flat edible seeds. When eaten raw, it has a flavor that may be considered the same as a cucumber and melon combined, with a slight taste of banana and lime as well. When ripe, the outer skin of the melon should be orange-yellow in color and firm to the touch. It can be prepared for use in salads by removing the outer skin and slicing the inner flesh into squares or slices. Or it can be used as a salad dressing, by whisking the flesh with a little olive oil and substituted in place of vinegar. Scooping out the flesh and blending it into a drink, and then adding other ingredients such as yogurt, sorbet, honey, or vanilla ice cream is another way it can be prepared. The flesh can also be added to soups or sauces to provide a delicious fruity flavor. When entertaining, the scooped out shell can be filled with ingredients to create a colorful and unique presentation. For storage, the melon can be kept at room temperature for several weeks, or to enhance the flavor, store in a refrigerator and serve shortly afterward.
Choose a Horned Melon fruit that have a fully ripened. It will have an orange rind with spikes. If you can not find a fully ripened fruit, wait to have a turn orange before eating it. Cut the fruit in half crosswise. Set the one half aside. Hold the remaining half to your mouth. Slowly,press the fruit from the lower end. Small, semi-slimy sacs of fruit, each containing a cucumber-like seed, should come to the cut surface of the fruit. Beat or suck up at least one sac of fruit and seed. Chew or suck on the sac of fruit, swallowing it once you have savoured the flavour.
Things to do with Jelly Mellon
The flavour of a horned melon is described as a citrusy cucumber. It makes an interesting complement to beef. This recipe is served as a salad entrée.
- 1/2 horned jelly melon
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 green onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon light olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 horned melon
- 1 pound lean beef sirloin, trimmed of all fat
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1-1/2 cups julienne-cut cucumber
To make sauce: Cut 1/2 horned melon into halves lengthwise. Use a grapefruit knife or a small sharp knife to scoop out pulp. Combine the melon pulp, lime juice, green onion, oil, cumin, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until well blended.
To make beef: Cut 1/2 horned melon into halves. Cut crosswise into thin slices. Cut off skin. Cut the beef into thin slices. Grill or broil the beef to desired doneness. Arrange the lettuce on a large salad platter. Top with the grilled beef, melon slices and cucumber sticks. Spoon the sauce over the top.
- 1/2 Kiwano melon
- 3 mint leaves fresh
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- Sparkling wine
Slice Kiwano Melon in half size. Cut around the edges of the melon between the skin and the flesh. Use a spoon to dig out the flesh and place in cocktail shaker. Keep the melon half.
Add the Mint leaves to the shaker, mash a bit and shake vigorously . Add gin and lemon juice to mixture.
Shake well with ice pieces and strain in to melon half, or use a martini glass if you are too prissy to hold a prickly cup. Top with sparkling wine.
Garnish with lemon or kiwano slice.
KIWANO & LIME VINAIGRETTE
Here’s a simple salad dressing using fresh kiwano juice.
- 1 whole kiwano (horned cucumber)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
- juice of 1 lime
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cut the kiwano in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Press kiwano pulp through a sieve to extract juice. Discard seeds and pulp.
In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer to a glass bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk
CREAMY AVOCADO AND HORNED MELON DRESSING
- 1 horned melon
- 1 small ripe peeled avocado
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut horned melon in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp. Place pulp in a fine sieve over a bowl. Press pulp with the back of a spoon to extract juice; discard juice. Place pulp and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.