Time for the new food for the month. This time, I really really liked it. The pepino melon, or pepino dulce (sweet cucumber) – purple and yellow/green on the outside, and a soft yellow on the inside that tastes of cantaloupe, honeydew, and cucumber. That is how it is described on websites, and truly, that’s how it tastes. It has the texture of a honeydew, though a smaller fruit of course, and has the scoop-able seeds in the middle. The funny thing is it is actually a member of the tomato family/eggplant family, Solanaceae, and not the squash/melon family. The skin is eggplant-like, and has to be peeled, but the interior texture is just like a melon. There is more information, including pictures of the inside, on Wikipedia.
Anyway, I peeled and cored it, then tasted the raw fruit. Raw, it would go nicely in salads, but to me personally, it doesn’t really stand on its own like a cantaloupe. It is sweet, but a bit to cucumber-y for me. (I hate cucumbers.)
However, I cored, peeled, and sliced it, drizzled with olive oil and a light amount of sea salt, and grilled/baked until just tender. In my case I had put too much olive oil, so it was almost fried. When I first bit into it, it tasted like fried breadfruit – which I love. Then I drizzled a little pomegranate balsamic vinegar on it, and wow. Fantastic.
So I’m very happy – sometimes the flavor risks pay off.
According to Wikipedia, it is common in markets in S. America. I hope I can find more here at a cheaper price than what I paid ($3 for one, if I recall). Grilled with balsamic vinegar, though, a small bit can go a long way and add a lot of flavor.