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Foodstuff: Spiny Melon

Spiny Melon 1

This is a rather interesting little fruit you may wish to try if you get the chance. I found it at our local supermarket labelled as a ‘Spiny Melon’ but it is also known as the ‘Horned Melon’, ‘Blow fish fruit’ and ‘Melano’. It is native to Africa but it is now being cultivated in the Antipodes, South America and also California, which is where, I suspect, mine was grown. To be honest, while I was glad to try something new, I can’t say I much enjoyed the experience…

Spiny Melon 2

Here is the fruit cut in cross-section. The interior consists of a very jelly-like pulp and lots of small seeds that are quite soft and can easily be eaten (although one source I consulted indicated that most people spit them out). The consistency is not really all that pleasant… It is a very soft jelly with a definite slimy quality that persists in the mouth for a good minute or two after you swallow. The effect, in fact, is a bit like having a mouthful of KY-Jelly… although I won’t entertain any questions as to how I am able to make that comparison.

The taste is not easy to describe, especially as it is very mild and quite bland. It has the slightly grassy notes of watermelon rind or cucumber but the aftertaste has the combined astringency and slight sweetness of a green banana. Coupled with the unappealing mouth-feel, as well as the price of nearly $9 for a single fruit, I don’t think I care to repeat the experience.


4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I grew some of these once. Pretty on the vines and in a fruit bowl, but that’s about it. But $9??? I’ve never seen one that expensive. You must have bought it in Nunavut…?

    September 17, 2015
    • Yup … probably be a third of that price down south. 😦

      September 17, 2015
  2. Tried this some years ago when it first appeared in our food market, was pricey but since I like to try new things decided to spend the money, never bought another. It tasted like an over ripe cucumber.

    September 17, 2015
  3. I tried these a few years back and I really enjoyed them. Eating one was like an adventure -they look like something they’d eat on StarTrek or Stargate. Tasting like fresh cucumbers made them all the more fun. But, by far the best part for me was the visual -I found the colors and form so pretty. If you like cucumbers and don’t mind an odd mouth feel. I think the $9 price tag would have diminished my fun. I think I paid $3 and that was Whole Foods, where prices are another alien adventure.

    September 21, 2015

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