It has been several weeks now that I have been eyeing this tree and wondering when I would get to pick the fruits and taste them.
It is our one and only pepino melon tree … bought from a supermarket. It is an exotic fruit tree, originating from Peru, which is not sold in any of the garden centres here. Neither could I find the fruit itself in any of the supermarkets in Lausanne. But in spring this year, one of the (foreign) supermarket food chains, Aldi, sold cuttings of this fruit tree among the cuttings of other flowering trees. And since they were later put on sale for only CHF 2 (from its original price of about CHF 8), I decided to buy one to try and grow it on our balcony. From a small cutting, this melon tree has grown big and is now producing a few melons for us to try. Of course, I wish it would be more prolific … however, I am grateful for whatever number of fruits that it can give us given the temperate climate, here.
And so, a few days ago, I decided to cut the smaller of the two ripening pepino melons from the tree … because when I pressed it not too hard, I could feel it giving way a little. But not the bigger fruit … that one is still quite hard.
From what I could glean from the internet, it seems that it is best to pick a pepino melon when it has ripened properly, not before and not after … so that you can really taste its flavour and sweetness. However, this being my first time growing this fruit, I suppose I might not necessarily get it right on my first picking, or even on my second or my third. But I am sure with more practice and opportunities … (that is, if the tree will bear a few more melons before it stops production for the coming winter!) … I will soon be able to know when to pick a ripe pepino melon.
Nonetheless, just to make sure that it was well and truly ripe, I decided to leave it for a few days as was suggested in one of the garden forums … but in the fridge. This is because in another article that I had read, it was stated that a pepino melon does not keep well after it has been picked but that it can last a few days in the fridge. So I decided to follow all these suggestions and advice … so that, hopefully, we will get the best taste out of our very first pepino melon.
And today, for dessert at lunch time … since the hubby is working from home … I decided to take out the pepino melon that I had picked a few days ago for us to try. And the verdict?
I think true to its name(s) … pepino melon is called pepino dulce in Spanish (or sweet cucumber in English) … the pepino melon actually tastes as a cross between a cucumber and honey-dew melon … at least to me lah! It is not as sweet as honey dew but definitely sweeter than cucumber and it is amazingly very refreshing to eat.
So … as far as I am concern, I am totally pleased with my first taste of the pepino melon. Despite having to wait for months to get my very first bite out of it, I have no complain! And I definitely look forward to being able to taste more of these melons … and am definitely going to make sure that I will grow the fruit tree again next year … especially since the tree is not very big nor tall!
The pepino melon or melon pear or pepino dulce … about to be cut and eaten, finally! 🙂
Just to give you an idea of the size of the small pepino melon that I had picked from the tree. It is about the size of an orange.
The pepino melon cut in half. The inside looked very juicy and fleshy … just like honey dew or rockmelon. But unlike the other two melons, a pepino melon has very few seeds and even then, the seeds are very, very tiny.
The pepino melon is normally grown from cuttings rather than from seeds … even though it is supposed to be equally easy to grow this exotic fruit from seeds.
And then cutting it into smaller slices so that it would be easy to pop it into the mouth! Although all parts of this fruit are edible … we decided to just eat the flesh lah! And it does taste quite nice. Not as nice as a rock melon, but certainly good enough for me to want to grow more of them next year! And the hubby seems to have liked it, too!
For our next melon, I am going to make sure that we eat it as soon as I picked it from the tree … just to see if there is any difference. I will let you know when we have tasted our second pepino melon, okay?