This unusual fruit has found a place in the Organic Garden on Little St. Simons Island. Cucumis Metuliferus, a member of the cucurbitaceae family, known as African Horned Melon, Jelly Melon, Blowfish Fruit, or Kiwano, is native to Southern and Central Africa.
Having a cucumber flavor with hints of melon, lime, and banana it has proven to be a late summer harvest perfect for sorbet. The fruit is considered a good source of protein and Vitamins C, A, Iron, and Potassium.
Plus it can withstand the monstrous squash bugs in the garden right now–check out those spines!
These prolific vines provide fruit here from July until the first frost –perhaps December.
Our Chefs will soon begin to harvest the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, growing wild on Little St. Simons Island, to combine with the Kiwano Sorbet. Served in its frozen spiky shell it makes for an intriguingly delicious desert and for great conversation!
Commercially these fruit are now grown in New Zealand and California. If you can find them at your local grocer try Chef Paula’s Kiwano Sorbet
Kiwano Sorbet Recipe
· 10 Kiwano (African Horn Melon)
· 1 teaspoon lime zest
· 1/2 cup apple juice
· 1 tablespoon agave nectar
· Pinch of sea salt
1To prepare the Kiwano, cut them in half from top to bottom scoop out the jelly and seeds (keep the rind) and put into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth and soupy. Now strain through a fine mesh.
2 Now add the lime zest, agave nectar and sea salt and stir until incorporated.
3 Place mixture in refrigerator for one hour to chill. Also place Kiwano rinds in the freezer. After an hour taste sorbet mixture and adjust sweetness accordingly with agave nectar.
4Process in an ice cream machine via the manufacturer’s instructions. The sorbet will have a soft texture right out of the ice cream machine. Now remove rinds from freezer and scoop sorbet into rinds. Place back into the freezer for at least an hour.
Garnish with a sprig of Holy Basil.
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