For the first time ever, Kiwi foodies will have easy access to the exotic taste of Kiwano Horned Melons, thanks to the launch of a Bay of Plenty based e-commerce website selling the rare New Zealand grown fruit.
The site, www.theexoticgrocer.com, launched this week and exclusively sells fresh Kiwano Horned Melons to be delivered to consumers across New Zealand.
Kiwano have a vibrant orange, spikey exterior and bright green jelly-like flesh. The taste is a cross between a banana, passionfruit and lime.
The Exotic Grocer owner, Vanessa Hutchings says only ten percent of Kiwano Horned Melons are released into the New Zealand market, so people will need to be quick if they want to experience this delicacy.
“The fruit originates in Africa but we have been growing them in the lush and fertile Bay of Plenty region since the 1980s, however not many New Zealanders have tried them yet as most get exported,” Hutchings explains.
Kiwano grow opposite the beach in the warm Papamoa climate where there’s no need to add any harmful chemicals or insecticides. Hutchings says minerals that blow across from the beach help give the fruit their distinctive flavour.
“They are absolutely perfect for smoothies, juices, cocktails, sauces, salsas, raita, salads, squeezed over ice cream or yoghurt or cut open and scooped straight out with a spoon,” she says.
Nutrition-wise, Kiwano have been described as a wonder fruit. They contain less sugar than watermelon, are low in calories and fat and contain three of the most important minerals essential to good health – zinc, calcium and magnesium.
Kiwano are also a great source of beta-carotene, which gives the fruit it’s vibrant colour and also converts to Vitamin A in the body. This helps maintain healthy skin, mucus membranes, immunity and promotes good eye health and vision.
They are also rich in a powerful antioxidant known as alpha-tocopherol. This antioxidant keeps the blood vessels and nerves healthy. It also helps in the neutralisation of free-radicals in your body, and assists heart health.
Kiwano Horned Melons are available from January to June and are also available in some supermarkets. Double and triple packs of Kiwano Horned Melons with a free recipe card will be available at www.theexoticgrocer.com, as well as a pack of nine for smoothie lovers.