Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I've noticed an apparent direct correlation between the strangeness of a fruit and its cost. The Kalahari's Kiwano is certainly no exception but I figured the $5.50 sacrifice was but a small sum to pay for the opportunity to sample such a natural oddity.


Resembling some sort garish weapon torture device from a distant (and incredibly colorful) future or perhaps the cocoon of some insidious alien life form, the Kiwano (also commonly called the Horned Melon) is actually member of the genus Cucumis which makes it a close relative to cucumbers and melons.

Structurally there is a strong resemblance to a cucumber as the seeds are about the same size and arranged in a pleasant geometrical patterns but the abundance of seeds and their translucent outer coating brings to mind passion fruit, pomegranates, and tomatoes.

kiwano cut

There is a distinct base taste of melon and even the hint of cucumber in the flavor of Kiwano flesh but the initial notes strongly resemble a smooth blend of bananas and green grapes. The flavor of the flesh is offset slightly by the woody texture and taste of the seeds which bear a strong resemblance to those of its cousin, the cucumber.

The Kiwano is not at all filling so, coupling its lightness with its heavy price, does not make a good snack but is a worthwhile indulgence for those seeking to sample gustatory rarities and oddities.