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Kiwano melon, also known as horned melon or African horned cucumber, is a nutritious and unique fruit that is gaining popularity worldwide. Here are some key points about this fascinating fruit:
Kiwano melons are characterized by their distinctive horn-like protrusions and orange-yellow skin. They have a spongy, creamy texture and a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. The fruit is typically round or oval in shape and can grow up to 12 inches in length.also known as the African Horned Melon and Melano in Israel, is one of those fruits that will get you the amazement of your family members and friends of your worldly fruity pursuits.
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The rind also transitions from green to golden yellow-orange when ripe, overlaid with dark orange speckling, mottling, and spots. Underneath the surface, the flesh is comprised of many small cream-colored seeds suspended in an emerald green, jelly-like liquid. The seeds are somewhat hard and crunchy, and each seed is typically encased in a slippery layer of soft flesh.
The green liquid flesh has a viscous, watery texture reminiscent of passion fruit. Kiwano melons are determined ripe when the skin exhibits bright yellow-orange hues. The rind, seeds, and flesh are edible, but the skin is often discarded due to its chewy, semi-tough, and neutral flavor. The flesh and seeds have a very mild, subtly sweet, and tangy taste with faint notes of cucumber, kiwi, banana, lime, and zucchini.
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Kiwano melons are available year-round, as the melons are grown in both hemispheres and exported worldwide. The melons have a peak season in the spring through summer. Kiwano melons, botanically classified as Cucumis metuliferus, are unique African melons belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family.
The spiny melons form on traveling, low-growing vines that can climb along a trellis or spread across the ground, and the variety is one of the few melons that closely resembles a cucumber rather than a traditional melon. Outside of Africa, the melons are grown as an ornamental cultivar, valued for their unusual appearance, bright coloring, and long shelf life.
Some Health Benefits of the Kiwano Fruit
Kiwano melons are a good source of magnesium to regulate muscle and nerve function, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, and iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport in the bloodstream.Kiwano Melon Fruit Box uk
The melons also provide potassium to balance fluid levels, phosphorus to protect bones and teeth, and other amounts of zinc, vitamin B6, copper, and calcium. In addition to the vitamins and minerals, Kiwano melon seeds contain linoleic and oleic acid, also known as omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids, that help lower cholesterol and stimulate hair growth.
How to Consume the Kiwano Melon Fruit
Kiwano melons have a subtly sweet, vegetal, and tangy flavor suited for sweet and savory preparations. The rind, seeds, and flesh are edible, but many consumers choose to discard the flesh as it can be tough and slightly flavorless. Kiwano melons should be washed, the spines trimmed, and sliced in half. The flesh can be scooped, squeezed, or muddled from the rind and consumed straight out of hand or drizzled over yogurt, ice cream, green salads, and fruit bowls.
Kiwano melon flesh and can be pressed through a fine-mesh sieve to separate the liquid from the seeds, and the juice can be used to flavor salad dressings, sauces, salsas, dips, syrups, and dessert fillings. TOnce mature, the melons should be consumed within a couple of days to ensure quality flavor and texture.
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Kiwano melons are deeply rooted as a nutritional supplement in the diets of the Khoisan people living in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. The melons have extended storage capabilities, and the thick skin keeps the flesh and seeds intact, providing one of the only sources of hydration within the desert during the dry season.
Kiwano fruits are 80% water, and the flesh is drunk while the rind and leaves of the vine are roasted. In addition to the native peoples of Africa, several animals such as elephants and giraffes also consume the melons as a natural digestive aid.
Geography/History of Afican Kiwano Fruit
Kiwano melons are native to Central and Southern Africa, specifically in the semi-arid regions of the Kalahari Desert, and have been growing wild since ancient times. The melons spread in cultivation throughout Africa and are currently produced in Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, and Zambia.Kiwano Melon Fruit Box Canada
Kiwano melons were introduced in the 1930s to New Zealand and Australia, where the plant became extensively cultivated as a novel commercial fruit and ornamental cultivar. Kiwano melons thrive in a wide range of soils and climates, from dry, desert weather to coastal regions. When in season, Kiwano melons are mainly found through local markets, specialty growers, distributors, or select grocers worldwide.