Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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pepino the fruit of Solanum muricatum, a small bush of about 1 m (3') in height which is native to temperate Andean areas of Peru and Chile and cultivated elsewhere in C. and S. America, and Australasia. The name pepino is Spanish for cucumber, and the Latin American name pepino dulce means sweet cucumber. (One variety, Rio Barba, is vinelike and its fruits do resemble a small cucumber.) However, since the pepino is usually more like a melon, it is sometimes called pepino melon or melon pear.

A typical fruit is about 7 cm (3") in diameter near the stem end, and 13 cm (5") long. Its skin is golden streaked with purple. It has little flavour, but can be used effectively in fruit salads.