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Pick of the Day: Hello, Horned Melons

Horned MelonWondering what in the world this is? Don’t let those spikes scare you away from trying this tantalizing tropical fruit from New Zealand, which also makes a great new fruit for Rosh Hashanah, and is available in Fairway stores now. The horned melon (also known as kiwano, African horned cucumber, jelly melon, English tomato, or hedged gourd) may have a fierce-looking exterior, but slice it open, and you’ll discover several surprises.

Its soft skin easily gives under the gentle pressure of a knife to reveal its watery and jelly-like center. When you bite into it, you’ll taste a hint of cucumber with the comforting, subtle flavor of banana. And depending on how you cut it, it looks different. Cut it lengthwise, and it’ll look like the cross-section of an orange. Make wedges and bite into it, getting your teeth into every little groove to suck out every tasty bit. Or cut it horizontally, and you’ll see that this summer fruit is as intricate-looking as a snowflake and as mysterious as a pomegranate with seeds filling every juicy pocket. Holding it like half a grapefruit, scoop out that goodness with a spoon. Swallow or spit out the seeds – however you want to savor it.

When ripe, this photogenic fruit has striking yellow-orange skin against a spring green pulp. That color inspires creativity in the kitchen, so at your next bash, wow everyone by making an unforgettable salsa or fruit salad, using the inside of the horned melon as an ingredient and it’s shell as a cup. Plus, along with those exotic bites, you’ll be serving up healthy doses of two nutrients our bodies need to function well – potassium and vitamin A (our bodies convert the beta-carotene in the fruit into this nutrient).

So dig in, and while your guests are devouring this natural treat, share some fun facts about the fruit – easy to store, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and keeps for several months! Plus, it hails from Africa, and it even became a weed in Australia after it was introduced there 70 years ago. The horned melon took over the land down under – now let it win over your palate.

How would you eat the horned melon?

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