I’ve seen these Horned Melons around in the local ethnic markets a few times, but the price of $8-10 per pound was a turnoff. I finally broke down and bought one. With a quick visual inspection, I figured this little one was about a quarter pound and around 2 bucks; but, when I got to the check out, it was quite a bit heavier and almost $5. Cucumis metuliferus goes under several descriptive names such as the Horned Melon, Kiwano, Jelly Melon or Blowfish Fruit.
Some interesting facts:
- Native to Sub-Saharan Africa
- Can grow in the Kalahari desert
- Source of Iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C
What does it taste like?
Online resources seem to indicate that it tastes like a mix of cucumber, zucchini, watered down banana and hint of lemon. To me, it pretty much tastes like a cucumber, a $5 cucumber. Adding a bit of salt or sugar may bring out the flavor a bit more.
How to eat it?
Pretty simple. Cut open the horned melon, scoop out the jelly like flesh and enjoy your $5 cucumber. You can eat, swallow or spit out the seeds depending on your liking.
I did save some of the seeds, so if I have some time, I may try to grow 1 or 2 plants this summer.