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)
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.