Eat Kiwano Right – Here’s How

Eat kiwano – this is how you get the pulp

The Kiwano, which is also often referred to as a hedgehog cucumber or horned melon because of its appearance, is not very well known to us. It originally comes from Africa and immediately catches the eye at the vegetable stand because of its unusual appearance.

  • The spines or horns of the approximately 15 centimeters large, exotic fruit are not dangerous, but you cannot or should not eat the skin of the kiwano.
  • To get the edible flesh of the kiwano, place the horned melon on a board. Then halve the cucumber lengthwise.
  • You can easily spoon the refreshing pulp out of the bowl. You can eat the kernels without worrying.
  • The Kiwano has a very unique, slightly sour-sweet taste that is somewhere between banana, melon, and cucumber. Basically, there are only two options: either you love the taste of the tropical fruit or you hate it. There really isn’t anything in between.
  • You can easily tell whether the kiwano is ripe and therefore edible by the radiant light orange color. In addition, the skin of the ripe Kiwano gives a little. The kiwano is one of the fruits that ripen later, so you can store it for a few days without any problems.
  • If you want to process the pulp further, the seeds can be easily separated from the pulp using a sieve.
  • Tip: Although the skin of the Kiwano is not edible, it can be used as a decoration material.

The tropical fruit goes well with this

In culinary terms, the Kiwano goes well with both sweet and savory dishes.

  • You can easily eat the porcupine cucumber right out of the shell as a small snack.
  • The Kiwano goes just as well with sweet desserts such as fruit salad, pudding, yogurt, or ice cream as with a hearty salad. The fruit also gives muesli an interesting kick.
  • The combination of horn melon with prawns, crab salad, scampi, or shrimp is not just a visual eye-catcher. The salad gets an additional exotic touch when you serve it in the hollowed-out bowls of the kiwano. By the way, you save yourself the plates.
  • Tip: The kiwano not only tastes good, but it is also very helpful for insect bites. In their country of origin, a piece of fruit pulp is therefore often placed on insect bites to relieve it.

Further information

The Kiwano actually belong to the cucurbit family, although you don’t necessarily see the relationship between them.

  • But it’s the inner values that count and just like the pumpkins, the horned melons are extremely figure-friendly due to their high water content. A 500-gram fruit has around 60 calories.
  • However, the Kiwano cannot score with a particularly large number of nutrients for our health. Vitamin C and potassium in particular are found in the porcupine cucumber.
  • If you would like to get a small supply, this is easily possible. Grab the greenhorn melons at the vegetable stand and simply let the fruit ripen at room temperature at home.
  • Tip: If you would like to store the Kiwano a little longer, you can do this in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. However, the fruit should still be unripe.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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