|Cucumis metuliferus fruit|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||183 kJ (44 kcal)|
|Vitamin A equiv.||
|Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Cucumis metuliferus, horned melon or kiwano, also African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano, in the southeastern United States, blowfish fruit, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. Its fruit has horn-like spines, hence the name "horned melon". Ripe fruit has yellow-orange skin and lime green, jelly-like flesh with a tart taste, and texture similar to a cucumber. C. metuliferus is native to Africa, and is now grown in California, Mississippi, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
C. metuliferus is a traditional food plant in Africa, and has potential to improve nutrition and food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land use.[not in citation given] Along with the Gemsbok cucumber (Acanthosicyos naudinianus), it is the only source of water during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert. In Zimbabwe it is called gaka or gakachika, and is primarily used as a snack or salad, and rarely for decoration. It can be eaten at any stage of ripening, but when overripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds.
The fruit's taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon. It is also said to taste like an unripe, watered-down banana. A small amount of salt or sugar can increase the flavor. Some also eat the peel, which is very rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. The fruit can be used in cooking, but when eaten raw, most suck out the pulp and spit out the seeds.
- National Research Council (2008-01-25). /openbook.php?record_id=11879&page=89 "Horned Melon". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume III: Fruits. Lost Crops of Africa 3. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-10596-5. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- (French) Parc de Khal-agadi, pas si désert, in Science & Vie n° 1130, November 2011, pp. 18-21.
- "Kiwano: It's what's inside that counts", The Seattle Times.
- "Let's discover some more little-known fruits", Deseret News.
- Elizabeth Schneider. Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. William Morrow. p. 345. ISBN 0-688-15260-0.
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