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Plantidote of the Day 2011-01-25

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horned melon

Cucumis metuliferus

Kiwano horned melon

Strange fruit we have here. It's called a melon, but the kiwano is actually a member of the cucumber family. It tastes like a combination of banana and lemon, according to some sources. Others say it tastes like a sweet cucumber. This one is still sitting in the kitchen, waiting for me to get up the nerve to slice it open.

Apparently, it's bright green inside and filled with edible seeds. Serving suggestions are all over the place. Some say it's best sliced in a fruit salad, others recommend eating it with ice cream (!), or just sprinkling a little sugar on top. Maybe I'll experiment later and report back. It's so odd looking, I kind of hate to eat it. On the other hand, the ice cream suggestion sounds appropriately weird ... and interesting.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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