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Plantidote of the Day 2011-08-26

twig's picture


Solanum muricatum


If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow pepinos. In fact, the two are related, both being members of the nightshade family. Pepino is a leafy plant with beautiful purple and white flowers (scroll down to the second image in the link), easy to grow in any zone free of frost.

Pepinos' taste is subtle, mostly melon-like, with a hint of cucumber or banana, depending on ripeness and variety. Maybe the odd flavor is why they're not more popular. What do you do with pepinos -- put them in a salad or eat them for dessert? Apparently, the correct answer is all of the above -- pepinos are versatile and nutritious. Here are a couple recipes, one for a main dish and one for a dessert. If anyone has firsthand pepino experience, please tell us about it in a comment.

Readers, please send twig ( 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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jerztomato's picture
Submitted by jerztomato on

Did you grow it, or did you purchase the fruit? Unfortunately it needs a LONG growing season. I'm lucky I get a few cherry tomatoes, I can't grow any of those big, luscious tomatoes. :(

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I had no idea what they were or what to do with them. The taste was underwhelming, but I think I let them sit in the refrigerator too long. Maybe I'll try growing some next year -- this summer has been a bust, garden wise.