How do you eat a kiwano?

As with many other exotic fruits, you often stand at the fruit counter in front of the kiwano and ask yourself what you can do with it. Here's how to eat a kiwano.


The kiwano or horn melon looks like a small pumpkin. (Photo by: © Brent Hofacker /

The kiwano is a plant from the Kalahari in Africa . Today the fruit comes mainly from New Zealand, Italy, Israel, South Africa and Kenya. It is colored orange and has a thick shell with jagged protrusions. Therefore, it is also known as cucumber, hedgehog cucumber or barbed cucumber.

Although not easy to see, she belongs to the cucumber genus and is not related to the kiwi.

How to eat a kiwano

  • You eat the fruit like a kiwi fruit: Cut lengthways and spoon out the pulp. The kernels contained in the kiwano can also be eaten.
  • If you don't like the kernels, you can pass the kiwano pulp through a sieve. To do this, cut the kiwano lengthways in the middle. Remove the pulp with a spoon and pass through a sieve.

Tip: The bowl of the kiwano is not edible. However, it is very useful as a bowl for fruit salad, even as a container for a drink.

Taste and ingredients

The taste of the kiwano is refreshing, slightly tart and represents a mixture of banana, lime, cucumber and melon. The taste can be refined by adding lemon juice. It is also possible to enjoy them with salt.

The taste varies greatly depending on the origin and harvest time. If you catch the wrong fruit, it can also taste very bland.

The kiwano consists mainly of water, is very low in calories (100 grams have only 44 kcal), contains valuable minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins B and C.

Info: In the countries of origin, the flesh is also used against insect bites and light burns.

Maturity and storage

It is offered in Europe from January to June. If the skin turns orange-yellow, the kiwano is ready to be eaten.

It is usually offered or bought in an immature state (green or slightly yellowish in color) and can then ripen at home (at room temperature!). Mature kiwanos keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks .

Tip: If the spines of the skin soften, the fruit is spoiled and should be discarded.

Use in the kitchen

  • You can use the pulp for salads as a particularly exclusive ingredient.
  • It tastes particularly good in fruit salads in conjunction with apples, bananas, pineapples or nuts.
  • The color and consistency of the kiwano resembles that of the gods. Therefore, the Kiwano is very suitable for decorating cold plates or fruit salads.
  • It is also well suited for refining all kinds of desserts such as desserts, creams and ice cream or drinks.
  • The kiwano can also be used as an addition to natural yoghurt.
  • The kiwano can even be used as an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes.