FWNAB: Kiwano

I know it is about to attack me!

The Kiwano, (scientific name: Cucumis Metuliferus) is part of the melon and cucumber family, and let’s admit it: it looks pretty amazing! It was even featured on one episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine as an alien “Golana melon”! (source)

Thanks to its spikes, it is also known as ‘horned melon’, ‘blowfish fruit’, ‘hedged gourd’, and half a dozen other names.

Despite being now cultivated in several parts of the world, from Australia to South America, this interesting looking fruit is originally native of Africa: in the Kalahari desert, during the dry season, the Kiwano is actually the only available source of water. (source: Wikipedia).

With good levels of vitamin C, iron, potassium and antioxidants, plus beta-carotene and vitamin A, this fruit is very healthy, helping, amongst other benefits, to give a boost to the immune system. (source)

Kiwano still in one piece.

According to the internet, it should taste like a cucumber, however the one I tried tasted more like a lemon, with a tangy, fresh and citrusy aftertaste.  On other websites, I found people comparing it to kiwis and even bananas, so I guess it all depends from how much you let it ripen before devouring it.

Aside from its decorative qualities, this fruit well adapts to both sweet and savoury recipes, such as the ones I found: tropical sorbet, salsa and frozen mousse, vinaigrette, gazpacho, and flounder with kiwano salsa.


Posted on 01/09/2013, in Expat Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve seen it a bunch, but kept passing on it for belimbing or papaya. Next time though…

    I had a five hour layover between 21:00 and 02:00 in AUH in December. Obviously, not enough time to get on the free Etihad shuttle to Dubai – nor were its schedules suitable – so I hopped on a public bus to go to Al Wahda. Would’ve tried going to the mosque, but can’t…remember why I didn’t. Walked around the downtown for a couple of hours, but nothing stood out.

    That said, what should I have done;)?

    • Hello! An evening/night layover in Abu Dhabi might be a bit tricky, as many things would be shut, however – especially if you were here on the weekend – there are plenty of restaurants and clubs – especially on Yas Island (which is not far from the airport) where to spend some fun time!
      You can even head to the Couchsurfing website to ask for people to hang out with you. I am sure a lot would have been happy to (us included!)
      Or – if you were here on Tuesday, you could have gone to the Yas Racing circuit, as on that evening it is free for all and open to cyclists and runners to enjoy :)
      Another alternative is also to head to one of the beaches and enjoy the quiet waters (maybe also a night swim!) and the sky full of stars!
      Next time you pass by just give us a buzz and we would be happy to help with a plan! :)

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