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Bitter Melon

May 5, 2021
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If you were picturing a melon, think again. Even though it doesn’t resemble the “melon” part of its name, it is true to its name as far as being bitter-it’s one of the most bitter in the world.

Appearance & Flavor

Bitter melons are long and slender, similar to a cucumber, but with rough, bumpy skin. Both the skin and flesh are edible. The flesh-the bitter part-is off-white with white seeds and quite crisp. When harvested, they are green while they’re young, but once they mature, they turn orange. The more mature the melon, the more bitter.

Ways to Enjoy

Dying to try something new but not sure where to start? Give this traditional Chinese dish a shot. Bitter melons also make good company in your stir-fries, stews, and curries. Or try them pickled or braised.

Availability & Origin

Native to India and grown across Asia, Africa, and Mexico, these fruits are available year-round. They can also grow in the southern US; in states like Florida and South Carolina.

Storage

For three days’ worth of use, store them in the fridge whole and unwashed. After cutting, bitter melons begin the breakdown process, so it is better to prepare them after slicing them up rather than storing them that way.