WINTER MELON

Here on the urban homestead you never know what unusual fruit of vegetable will pop up.   The resident farmers here love to try out new varieties.   Some work and some don’t.

Last weeks cold spell hint touched a few of the remaining summer vegetables.  One that had to come down this week was the the cassabanana melon.   Even though it was loaded with unripe fruit the cold temperatures weren’t ideal for this tropical heat loving fruit.

So down came the massive vine which practically overran one of our many trellises in the backyard.  Now we have over 100lbs of unripe melons and we are scratching our heads about what we can do with them.   If they are inedible for human consumption what about our animals?

I searched online ‘are green cassabanana’s edible and came up this this page which said that the green fruits are treated like a vegetable.  Hmmm, which kind of vegetable?  More like squash I would guess.  I figure I am going to have to open one to find out.

Like I said you never know what surprises will pop up around here.  Always learning, always experimenting leaves for an interesting life.

Cassabanana Melons
Cassabanana Melons grow on a perennial vine up to 50 feet (15 metres) long, that can be started from seeds or cuttings. Some grow the vine as an ornamental. It will climb trees or can be trained on trellises, and can adhere to smooth surfaces.

The vine has leaves up to 1 foot (30 cm) wide, and male and female flowers.

The fruit is 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) long. The thick, hard rind can be orange, yellow, purple, or black. It will be smooth and glossy when ripe.

Inside, the tender, sweet flesh is orange or yellow. At the centre, there is a soft pulp with oval, flat brown seeds about 1/2 inch (1 cm) long and half as wide. The seeds grow in rows the length of the melon.

The fruit has a sweet aroma. It is very fragrant in the house. Some people think it repels moths.

Cooking Tips
Cassabanana Melon can be eaten raw in slices. Some say it is better with a little sugar.

It can also be cooked and made into preserves such as jam.

When unripe, it is treated as a vegetable.

The most popular use is jam.

Courtesy of

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/cassabanana.html

Comments(6)

  1. IndianaCraig says:

    Hey!!!!
    I just happened to notice that the article you found was from Purdue University…..15 minutes from me. Ha! Small world,…well..especially online! 🙂
    Good luck with the Casabannana!
    Craig

  2. Stacy says:

    What about pickling them like watermelon rind? I’ve never done it personally, but I hear it mentioned often enough I figure it must be a feasible way to make relatively inedible gourds/squash fairly edible.

  3. girlgroupgirl says:

    I just read where a similar melon can be baked in the oven like a squash when it is picked unripe. Why not try throwing one in the solar oven and see what it tastes like?

    The gardeners might experiment, but so can the cooks!!

  4. Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife says:

    I wonder whether they might substitute for green papaya as the basis for the Thai salad som tum? It’s a delicious salad, and in SoCal you’re likely to have the heat-loving ingredients still available to you (tomatoes, lime, peanut, can’t remember what else goes in there).

    -Kate

  5. ruthie says:

    How funny, I just bought cassabanana (melacoton) seeds for next summer! 🙂 Good to see it was productive for ya’ll.

  6. rachel says:

    I would’ve thought pickling too…maybe making a savory chutney with it cut up and mixed with other ingredients, then canned?

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