Winter melon is a popular fruit, especially in Southeast Asia.
You may have come across this heavy-looking fruit in your local Asian grocery store or market.
Winter melon is a popular fruit used in many dishes and desserts.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the taste of winter melon and how to eat it.
What is Winter Melon?
Winter melon, also known as ash gourd or white pumpkin, is a type of fruit that belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae.
The fruit grows in a long cylindrical shape and can weigh anywhere up to 30 pounds or more. Winter melons have a hard greenish-grey outer shell, and their flesh is white.
The fruit’s flesh is mostly tasteless and has a spongy texture. You can grow winter melon in places with tropical and subtropical climates like India and China.
Winter melon is a versatile fruit that you can prepare in multiple ways. The fruit is low in calories and is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Its seeds are used to make tonics that help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent various health issues.
What Does Winter Melon Taste Like?
Winter melon has a mild sweetness to it, similar to that of a watermelon. The fruit does not have an overpowering flavour of its own. Its taste depends mainly on how it is prepared. Winter melon’s flesh is often tasteless and mild, making it an excellent ingredient for various dishes and desserts that require a milder fruit flavour.
The fruit does have a distinct aroma, which is often described as ‘earthy’ or ‘mildly sweet’.
The texture of winter melon can vary depending on how it is cooked. If the melon is boiled, it will have a soft, tender texture. On the other hand, when it’s baked or roasted, the flesh can turn slightly firmer, which is excellent for curries.
The thin outer skin is not consumed due to its tough texture. When cooked, it is usually peeled off and discarded. The flesh of the fruit is the edible part and can be used in various forms in cooking.
How to Use Winter Melon in Cooking
Winter melon is a highly versatile fruit that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Here are some common ways of using winter melon in cooking:
Winter melon soup is a popular dish in Southeast Asian cuisine. It is often paired with ground pork, garlic, and sesame oil. The flesh of winter melon is mildly flavoured, making it perfect for soaking up the flavour of all the other ingredients in the soup.
Winter melon can be sliced and stir-fried with other vegetables and meat to create a delicious dish packed with healthy nutrients. The mild flavour of winter melon helps enhance the taste of other ingredients.
Winter melon can be used as an edible container to stuff with other ingredients. One common dish is stuffed winter melon with ground pork, shrimp, and various spices.
Winter melon can be preserved in sugar, creating a sweetened syrup to be used as a topping for desserts or mixed in a drink. You can also preserve winter melon with vinegar to create a savoury pickle.
How to Pick and Store Winter Melon
When purchasing winter melon, look for a firm fruit with a vibrant greenish-grey outer shell free of blemishes or cracks. Avoid overripe winter melon or those with yellowing skin. These could indicate that the fruit is past its prime and may not taste as good.
Winter melon can last for up to a few weeks in the fridge. Make sure to store it in an airtight container before putting it in the refrigerator to prevent moisture from getting to the fruit. You can also freeze winter melon, which will help prolong its shelf life.
Health Benefits of Winter Melon
Winter melon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Zinc. It also contains antioxidants that help protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, winter melon is low in calories and high in water content, which makes it an excellent food choice for anyone looking to lose weight.
Winter melon seeds are known for their medicinal properties too. They can be used to regulate blood sugar levels and treat digestive issues. The seeds contain a natural diuretic that helps flush out excess fluids and prevent bloating.
Winter melon is a diverse fruit that can be used in various dishes and desserts. Its mild taste and texture make it perfect for soaking up other flavours and spices, enhancing recipes’ taste. When cooked, the fruit itself does not have a powerful flavour, but instead, the dishes and desserts it is used in will have a unique taste and aroma.
Winter melon is a healthy and nutritious fruit, loaded with vitamins and minerals. Its seeds also contain medicinal properties and can be beneficial for maintaining overall health. When purchasing winter melon, look for a firm fruit with a vibrant greenish-grey outer shell free of blemishes or cracks. Store it in an airtight container before putting it in the refrigerator to prolong its shelf life.
Winter melon is a delicious addition to any meal or dessert. So, why not try to include it in your next recipe?
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.