This fleshy melon is used in soups and stews in Southeast, South, and East Asia, where it was first cultivated. Occasionally (Philippines, North India, Pakistan) it is candied. The shoots, tendrils, and juvenile leaves can be consumed as vegetables, but as Co Phung of Resilient Roots farm informed us, this reduces the yield of fruit. Thus, the name Winter Melon derives from the chalky coating that protects the ripe fruits for extended storage.
Winter Melon, also known as ash gourd or wax gourd, is a type of gourd plant that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The winter melon fruit is large, oblong, or round in shape and can grow to significant sizes, often reaching lengths of up to a meter.
It has waxy green or white skin, which is also called wax gourd. The flesh inside is usually white, soft, and spongy, with a mild, slightly sweet taste. When cooked, it takes on the flavors of the prepared dish, making it a versatile ingredient in various culinary applications.
Winter melon is commonly used in Asian cuisines to make soups, stews, curries, and desserts. It is also popularly used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine for its supposed health benefits, including aiding digestion and promoting hydration.
What is winter melon taste like?
Winter melon has a mild and neutral taste, similar to cucumber or zucchini. It becomes tender and absorbs flavors well when cooked, making it a versatile and popular ingredient in various savory dishes.
Why is winter melon so good?
Winter melon has a mild and neutral flavor, making it a versatile ingredient that complements a wide range of dishes.
Are melons in season in winter?
Winter melons are available year-round, with a peak harvest in the late summer through fall.