Horned Melon – Kiwano

What looks like a gigantic sea urchin and has been featured as alien food in an episode of Star Trek?  A horned melon was used as a “Golana melon” on the Star Trek episode:  Deep Space Nine episode “Time’s Orphan.”

Horned Melon
Photo from Melissa’s Produce

The scientific name for this melon is Cucumis metuliferus. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with most all melons, as well as the pumpkin, cucumbers, butternut squash, bottle gourds, petha or ash gourd, melons, and watermelons.  This fruit is called various other names around the world, such as African Horned Cucumber, Melon Kiwano, Blowfish Fruit, Jelly Melon, and the Hedged Gourd.

The horned melon is a native of southern Africa.  This melon was taken to Australia and New Zealand in the 1930s and was renamed the kiwano because of its slight internal resemblance to the kiwi fruit, to which it is no relation.  Horned melon/fruit or jelly melon has several BRAND names: Kiwano (from New Zealand), Melano (from Israel), Cuke-asaurus (from Washington State), and Fruto del Paraiso (registered in Chile, South America).

Consumers are drawn to these intriguing, yet versatile tropical fruits whose looks easily captures attention.  The fruit is covered with a kind of sharp spines you find on rose stems.  The spiky, orange colored shells encase a soft, succulent bright green flesh.  Melons are mild in flavor and the flavor of the pulp is sweet and a bit tart with a flavor mix of bananas, lime, and cucumber.  Once peeled, Horn Melons can be tossed in fresh fruit salads or served as a garnish with toasted meats.

The seeds and pulp of these melons are very nutritious as the seeds contain Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids such as Beta-carotene, which promotes the health of the eyes, and skin as well as having free-radical scavenging properties and boosting the immune system.  The seeds contain oleic and linoleic fatty acids too making them very good for blood pressure and overall health.

What is a Cuke-asaurus? This is a strain that originated from the Amazonian region of South America that has a long shelf life of over a year if kept at room temperature.  Mr. Gomberoff, President of Agricola Inca Gold, says “The seeds were given to me from a foreign scientist doing research in the rainforest of Ecuador, South America.”  These fruit are sold under the Inca Gold Brand located in Lynden, Washington.

How To Eat:  A ripe horn melon has an orange rind with prominent orange spikes.  The interior of the fruit is mainly big seeds with jellylike jackets (resembles lime green gelatin).  To eat plain, cut the fruit in half. Gently squeeze one half until the slime-covered seeds ooze out or using a spoon, scoop our the seeds (just like a cucumber).  The seeds are edible, but many people prefer to hold the seeds between their teeth and suck off the green flesh.  The seeds can be eaten like a pomegranate, as he seeds are edible, but somewhat bland.  You can also scoop out the seeds into a bowl and eat them with a spoon if you prefer.

If you find a horn melon in your local supermarket treat it as you would a passion fruit.  You can cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and blend them and the pulp to make a refreshing drink, adding lime or lemon juice and honey to enhance the flavor if you want to.  You could simply scoop out the flesh and pour it over natural yogurt or ice cream, and it is said that the seeds can taste like bananas, melon, lime, or even cucumber.


Morning Riser Juicing Recipe:

Recipe was adapted from an IncaGold Brand recipe. This drink provides a great source of fiber in your diet.


1 Cuke-asaurus Melon
Vanilla Yogurt (or your favorite flavor)*

*  Also may add some lime or lemon juice and some honey or sugar to taste.



Cut the melon in half, lengthwise.

Using your hands or a spoon, squeeze out all the green jelly and seeds; discard the rind.  Place in a blender with your favorite yogurt.  Blend approximately 1 minute or until well blended.

Pour into a large glass and enjoy!



Cooking Hints & Tips    Fruit Buying Guide   

Comments and Reviews

2 Responses to “Horned Melon – Kiwano”

  1. Susan Mary Cantwell

    I would like to be in contact with the individual who wrote this article from, https://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/KiwanoHornedMelon.htm. There is an abundance of nutritional and medicinal data that I would like to send you. I have been the Marketing/PR Director with Inca Gold Brand (Wa. State USA) & Agricola Inca Gold (Chile, S.A.).

    Thank you for your attention and I await your response.



Leave a Reply