The horned melon, also known as the kiwano melon and African horned melon, is an oval-shaped fruit with horns on its peel. It has a bright orange and yellow skin with a pale yellow-green pulp inside. The flavor of the pulp is sweet and a bit tart with a flavor mix of bananas, lime and cucumber. Horned melon is native to southern and central Africa. Most imported melons are now from New Zealand. California has began growing this melon, so a domestic product is available part of the year.
Select melons without any bruises or spots with a bright orange color. It is best to purchase a melon that has the horns intact, as damaged horns may be a sign of rough handling. Horned melons are available year round in specialty markets and supermarkets.
Unripe melons may be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks. Ripe melons will last about 3 to 4 days at room temperature. There is no need to refrigerate horned melon.
There is no way to peel the skin off of the melon, so the fruit needs to be scooped out of the melon before using. The melon may be cut in half or into wedges to help extract the fruit pulp. The pulp may be eaten by itself, used as a topping for a sweet dessert or added to a fruit or green salad. The shell may be used as a serving dish once the pulp is removed, but the skin should not be eaten.