Cucumis metuliferus, horned melon or kiwano, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. Its fruit has horn-like spines, hence the name "horned melon". Ripe fruit has yellow-orange skin and lime green, jelly-like flesh with a tart taste, and texture similar to a cucumber.
C. metuliferus is native to Africa, and is now grown in California, Mississippi, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. C. metuliferus is a traditional food plant in Africa, and has potential to improve nutrition and food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land use. Along with the Gemsbok cucumber (Acanthosicyos naudinianus) and Tsamma (Citrillus lanatus) it is one of the few sources of water during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert.
In Zimbabwe it is called gaka or gakachika, and is primarily used as a snack or salad, and rarely for decoration. It can be eaten at any stage of ripening, but when overripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds. The fruit's taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon. It is also said to taste like an unripe, watered-down banana. A small amount of salt or sugar can increase the flavour. Some also eat the peel, which is very rich in vitamin C and dietary fibre. The fruit can be used in cooking, but when eaten raw, most suck out the pulp and spit out the seeds.
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Our Beautiful World meme.