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If you are wondering what is this strange yellow/orange fruit dotted with tiny horns, the answer is kiwano fruit. Now, if you're wondering how to eat kiwano, let us explain more.
Also known as African horned cucumber and horned melon, kiwano is the fruit of a plant native to Africa: the Cucumis metuliferus, of the Cucurbitaceae family (the same as the watermelon and melon).
It's an African climbing plant that is increasingly spreading among the exotic fruit consumed in western markets. This fruit was given the name "kiwano" around the '30s, when it began to be imported into Australia and New Zealand, because, once cut, had a vague resemblance to the kiwi.
Kiwano | Benefits of the African horned cucumber
Photo: Judith Doyle / Flickr.com
Kiwano contains a good dose of vitamin C and vitamin B6; it is an excellent source of trace elements such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
The African horned melon is also low in calories, rich in water and can boast antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Cut a Kiwano
Slicing open a kiwano can be tricky when it comes to avoiding those outer spikes - follow these easy video tips to get at the pulp inside:
How to Eat Kiwano
Kiwano have an intense, slightly bittersweet and watery flavour. Some liken it to halfway between a cucumber and a banana.
In Africa, kiwanos are often eaten whole, after roasting or boiling together with vegetables. In the West, they are usually eaten without the skin.
Once sliced open, it's easy to extract the pulp, which can be enjoyed as it is (maybe adjusting to taste with salt, sugar, vinegar or lemon) or simply added to fruit salads, yoghurt or even cocktails or turned into ice cream or sorbets. Check out the exoticgrocer for kiwano recipe ideas.