The kiwano melon is a member of the gourd family, and is related to cucumbers and melon. Shaped like a short stout cucumber, its bright yellow and orange spiky shell encases its bright green soft flesh.
Also known as the African horned cucumber, jelly melon, horned melon, hedged gourd, and English tomato, the ornamental fruit used to grow only in New Zealand but is now grown in California as well. The kiwano melon has a long shelf life and should not be stored in the refrigerator.
The fruit is mild in flavor and tastes like juicy cucumbers, although it has a hint of lemon and banana flavor. It has to be peeled before tossing it into fresh fruit salads or served as a garnish. Its beautiful shell can be used as serving bowls for desserts, soups or sorbets. The kiwano melon is rich in vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, calcium and iron.