It is also known as horned melon, African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd and melano.
By 1930, the fruite was little known outside its native Africa, after which he was successfully cultivated in New Zealand and Australia, where it got its name kiwano because of its similarity to kiwi.
The plant is a monoecious, climbing, annual herb, with staminate flowers typically appearing several days before pistillate flowers.
Ripe fruit has orange skin and lime green, jelly-like flesh with a refreshingly fruity taste, and texture similar to a passionfruit or pomegranate.
The fruit’s taste has been compared to a combination of banana and passionfruit or a combination of banana, cucumber and lime.
There are 44 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of kiwano.
Kiwano is primarily a good source of vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin E, potassium and iron. Other minerals present in small quantities are magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium and sodium. Seeds contain a variety of fatty acids including linoleic and oleic acid.
The health benefits of kiwano include keep the blood vessels and nerves healthy, preventing or managing diabetes, improves digestion, reduces pre-mature aging, alleviates stress, maintain metabolic process, improve visibility, strengthens your bones, improves brain function, improve hair strength, improve skin health and speeds up wound healing
Kiwano is a common ingredient of fruit salad, it is also eaten raw.
The easiest way to consume kiwano is to cut it on two halves and remove the pulp together with the seeds with a spoon.
Seeds and pulp kiwans are also delicious in combination with ice cream, sorbets or yoghurt.
It can be used in the preparation of salad dressings, as a substitute for vinegar or in combination with it.
Kiwano tastes well with salty cheeses, such as feta cheese, and cucumber and tomatoes in vegetable salads.
Since the fruits have a long shelf life and retain their decorative appeal for many months at room temperature it can be developed into a major ornamental fruit.
This nutritious fruit is available almost throughout the year, and during the summer months it is seasonal.