I'm Eating What?!

If looks could kill, you'd call this thing the plague. It's roughly the size of a cucumber, and covered with green bumps that make it look like the bastard child of a cucumber and a head of broccoli. My trembling hands pick it up and the cold outer layer feels like Astroturf. I was assured that this was indeed edible.

The New Times office wisely doesn't contain knives of any kind, save the disposable kind that come with delivery food. The plastic knife cut easily through the strange green cylinder. I hold a fresh slice of up to my nose and notice it smells exactly like a freshly cut lawn and looks like a banana covered in moss. The yellow fleshy inside contains a few small white seeds, which we assume are edible. I silently say my prayers and bite the piece in half.

This is easily the bitterest thing I've ever had in my mouth. There seems to be almost no taste, except a faint "green" taste, like raw broccoli. It's the bitterness that really is what this fruit is all about. I decide to take a bite of just the yellowish flesh on the inside, and the pulp alone has a slightly faintly sweet flavor and the consistency of an overcooked water chestnut. Cringing, I take a bite of the outer green layer alone, and realize that's where the bitter lives.

Once my taste buds stopped screaming, I was informed that this fruit was ingeniously named Bitter Melon. There's no false advertising here. This particular Bitter Melon was purchased at Indian Grocery and Spices, 3062 N Andrews Ave., 954-561-8606 for under a dollar.

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