Nice melon. Pepino melon, that is

Flirty fruits | June 4, 2012 | By

Did I just out myself as a Gen Xer with the title, “Nice Melon?”  I sure hope so.  I haven’t thought of that insult in a long time, and it’s definitely a good one.  I’m not even sure what it means any more, but I know I like it.

As far as my title goes, though, it can be taken literally.  The pepino is a nice melon.  Here’s a picture of one:

A pepino feels a lot like a honeydew, but it’s only about 1/3 the size.  One of the ones I grabbed had pretty little tiger stripes on its skin, but the other didn’t.  Maybe in the pepino world stripes are a little like freckles and you’re just lucky if you’re born with them, like yours truly.  Freckles, not stripes.

Pepinos are called melons, but they’re actually a member of the nightshade family, being closer genetically to tomatoes and eggplants.  They typically grow in the higher elevations of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.  They’re considered a lower calorie fruit, so you can eat loads of them to help you feel full if you’re watching your weight, although doing this might break your bank unless they grow in your mountainous backyard – it cost me about $6 for two of them.

The recipe I chose for them (found here, thanks to ronnavroski’s comment) was the best kind – easy enough for a knife-ready kid to prepare it, but fancy enough to serve as a healthy dessert for guests. 

Pepino Boats (Serves 4)

  • 2 pepino melons
  • Large handful of raspberries
  • Large handful of blackberries
  • Large handful of strawberries, chopped
  • 400mL vanilla yogurt

Directions:  Slice pepino melons in half lengthwise.  Scoop seeds out and discard (although they’re edible).  Scoop out the flesh of the pepino with a melon baller or spoon, keeping the outer skin to be used as a bowl.  Combine all berries and pepino flesh in a real bowl, gently tossing with yogurt.  Spoon into pepino skin bowls and serve.

Results:  Tasty!  I read on a website that the pepino tastes like a cross between a honeydew and a cucumber, and that description was dead on.  The sense of cucumber gave an a crisp freshness that was a pleasant surprise.  The recipe was easy, healthy, and kid-friendly.  I’ll make it again if I happen to stumble across a pepino or two on sale.

Rating:  2 Yums




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