two halves of a kiwano melon on a cutting board
Interesting Info

How to Eat Kiwano Melon


Have you ever heard of the Kiwano melon? Also known as horned melon, African horned cucumber, spiked melon, and jelly melon. It has got to be one of the most unique-looking fruits on the outside and inside. In this post I discuss where the Kiwano melon comes from and where it grows, I show you how to eat Kiwano melon, give some health benefits, and describe what they taste like.

At first glance the Kiwano melon is otherworldly. They look like something that would grow on Mars or something, haha. In fact, it was even on an episode of Star Trek and most recently seen in Star Wars Episode VII during the bar scene.

They are such an amazing-looking fruit, right up there with the Dragon fruit.

Where do Kiwano melons come from?

Kiwano or horned melons are in the cucumber and melon family. They are orangish yellow with little spikes or “horns” on them. When they are ripe they will be very orange and the inside will be a bright green color.

They are native to Africa and is a traditional food there. Kiwano melons are grown in places like the United States, Portugal, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy, as well as other places in the world. They are well suited for dry hot climates.

What are the health benefits of Kiwano melon?

Kiwano melon cut in half showing its bright green jelly interior.

The horned melon has all kinds of healthy nutrients:

  • Low in calories – One fruit is about 90 calories
  • Decent amount of Vitamin C, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Iron, and a few other essential minerals.
  • High in antioxidants
  • Promotes healthy red blood cell production
  • Good for blood sugar control, since it has a low glycemic index
  • Good for hydration. They are mostly comprised of water and have lots of electrolytes.

Learn more about this amazing fruit’s health benefits here on Healthline.

How to eat Kiwano Melon

Hand cutting a kiwano melon on a white cutting board.

Now how to eat Kiwano melon? First, you need to wait until they are ripe. There shouldn’t be any green on the outside. The skin should be a nice orangish-yellow color.

The rind or skin is edible and contains nutrients but most people stick to eating the inside of the fruit.

Wash the fruit first, then cut it lengthwise down the middle.

Spoon with kiwano melon flesh in it.

Now you can hold up a half and slurp out that amazing lime green jelly or use a spoon and scoop it out. Most people eat the seeds as well like you would with a normal cucumber or the softer white seeds in a watermelon.

Optionally, you can use a paring knife and trip off all the horns. Then just slice it into slices and eat it that way similar to eating a regular cucumber without horns. If the jelly isn’t too ripe it will stay in place in the little slices.

What does Kiwano (horned) melon taste like?

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The texture is kind of like jelly, similar to that of a passionfruit. It is very refreshing tasting and has a mild sweetness sometimes on the sour side as well. There is a hint of a traditional cucumber taste as well, and when very ripe, some people say there is a bit of a banana taste too. Maybe even a hint of lime too.

A lot of people will enhance the flavor by sprinkling salt or sugar on it. It is traditionally eaten as a refreshing snack or in a salad. In places like the Kalahari Desert, it is one of the few sources of water. So this watery snack helps keep the hydration level up.

There you go a quick look at how to eat kiwano melon, where they grow and come from, and what they taste like as well as the health benefits.

Have you ever tried one? Let me know what you think of it!

How to Eat Kiwano Melon (Video)

Check out this video where I talk all about the Kiwano melon and do a taste test.

How to Eat a Kiwano Melon | Horned Melon Taste Test

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  1. I won’t be walking past these in the produce section next time! Interesting!

  2. I’ve been wondering about this fruit! I’ve seen it a few times at the International Market I shop at regularly and thought about trying it. Thanks for all this handy info! I’ll definitely give it a go now!

  3. This is so interesting! I hadn’t heard of this before, so thank you for sharing the tips and tricks!

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