Minor Melons

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

In addition to the Western melons, there are several groups of Asian melons, including Japanese pickling or tea melons, many of them crisp-fleshed, and the flexuosus group, long and twisted like a snake, which includes the “Armenian cucumber.” There is also the dudaim group of small, especially musky melons used in the U.S. South and elsewhere for preserves and simply to scent the air (pocket melon, pomegranate melon, smell melon); dudaim is Hebrew for “love-plants.” The horned melon, also called jelly melon and kiwano, is the fruit of Cucumis metuliferus, a native of Africa with a spiky yellow skin and a relatively scant amount of emerald-green, translucent gel surrounding its seeds. The gel has a sweet cucumbery flavor and is used in drinks, fresh sauces, and sorbets. The hollowed-out skin makes a decorative container.