Hailing from New Zealand and also grown in California, this oval fruit ranges in length from 3 to 5 inches. It has a bright yellow skin studded with stubby "horns," which is why it's also called a horned melon. The kiwano's pulp is a pale yellow-green color and jellylike in texture with a sweet-tart flavor evocative of bananas and cucumbers. Kiwanos are available year-round in specialty produce markets and occasionally in some supermarkets. Choose brightly colored fruit with firm spikes and no sign of soft spots. Store at a cool room temperature for up to a month. To use, cut the fruit in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, which can be eaten, seeds and all. Use in drinks, salads and sauces or as a topping for ice cream. Other names for the kiwano are African horned cucumber, English tomato and jelly melon.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.