Strange Fruit

Kiwano melonSometime in December, during my stay in Anchorage, Alaska, I picked up a strange thing from the supermarket produce section. The sticker said the oblong shaped fruit was a Kiwano Melon. Later, I learned it is native to the Kalahari desert in Africa and it’s name there is Gaka. In Zimbabwe it is called magaka or amagaka. The Kalahari desert spans Botswana, South Africa and Namibia.


Yellow and orange on the outside with half inch spikes it looked like some sort of futuristic alternate reality type food.As a matter of fact, it was featured in the series Star Trek as pictured here,

Molly O'Brien eats a "Golano Melon", a fictional name for the real fruit Kiwano Melon  which is native to Africa.

Molly O’Brien eats a “Golano Melon”, a fictional name for the real fruit  Gaka which is native to Africa.

Upon eating it, I was sure I would morph into a purple power-drunk superhero able to effortlessly leap  from planet to planet. Unfortunately for me, nothing  happened. Nothing!:/ Such is life.

The inside of the fruit was green with a lot of  seeds that seemed easier to swallow. The consistency was gelatinous making it easy to scoop out with a spoon. It was so refreshing!! It tasted like a slightly sweetened cucumber. I didn’t have time to experiment with it  but I look forward to making smoothies in the future. Also, freezing the green stuff into ice cubes for cocktail drinks!

Here’s more about Gaka including nutrition facts courtesy of Wiki-

  • Amount Per 100 grams1 fruit (4-2/3″ long x 2-3/4″ dia) (209 g)1 cup (233 g)1 fruit (4-2/3″ long x 2-3/4″ dia) (209 g)

    Calories 91
  • % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 2.6 g 4%
    Sodium 4 mg 0%
    Potassium 257 mg 7%
    Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5%
    Protein 3.7 g 7%
    Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 18%
    Calcium 2% Iron 13%
    Vitamin B-6 5% Magnesium 21%
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


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