Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Unusual Fruit Tuesday - Bitter Gourd

First of all, I want apologize to a fellow blogger for stealing her idea but honestly, even though she has written countless reviews of unusual fruits in her "weird fruit diaries" - I thought for sure she would have steered clear of this one.  For one, it's not really what you'd think of as a fruit in the first place and secondly, she has kids and there's NO WAY they would try this.  Buuuuut, I was least partially.  I am still pretty sure her kids didn't try this but I also don't think think she was aware that it's technically a fruit.  Needless to say, I didn't find it when I searched "weird fruit diaries" and "bitter gourd" so I thought I was safe. 

And now my justification for continuing with this post?  It IS a fruit and I cooked it differently so hopefully this won't count as outright theft.  If you want to check out her take on the bitter gourd, please do!  She even came up with a catchier title-- the bitter truth

I picked up my bitter gourd from the market across the street and when I asked how bitter it was, the lady said, "Not really bitter."  She's a liar.  It's bitter...supah bitter. 

There she is - in all her bitter splendor. 

The inside is a weird spongy mess.  Scoop all that out!
Ready for a fun fact?  When the fruit gets real real ripe, it looks like this:

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!?!  I am not sure I would have carried on with this experiment had I seen that ahead of time.  It looks like something from a fruity horror flick. 

In addition to scooping the spongy goop out, the key to reducing bitterness is slicing the gourd super thin.

Ok - so...admittedly, taco seasoning is not what most would consider a "go to" item when cooking bitter gourd but this was before our HHE (and pantry contents) arrived so it was the best I could do.

And the really real for real key to reducing bitterness?  Adding Rice Vinegar.  Some would consider this cheating and it would certainly change the flavor of whatever you're cooking WITH the bitter gourd but there is no way I would find this a pleasing experience without it.  So, I doused and then soaked my chopped gourd (does that sound dirty to anyone else?) for about 15 minutes.

I had some shredded pork, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, and onions leftover from an earlier concoction so I just threw it all together.  The result?  I can honestly say it wasn't bad.  I had husbear try a bite and he said it basically tasted like a pickle.  So....I guess it could have been worse.  I realize it doesn't look appetizing and you probably shouldn't have to work so hard to make something taste....edible - but I guess that's what makes discovering new things fun eh?
And for the grand finale?  People are so wackadoodle that they've made a drink out of this phallic disaster.  Oh dear...I think this post has turned ugly. 

(Nasty horror shot and bittermelonman photos courtesy of every blogger's friend, Wikipedia;  Everything else by yours truly.)


Rod DeBord said...

What's with the cape and hard hat? super laborer?

Lindsey said...

Absolutely NO idea but very good question!

Jane Droll said...

well that sounds horrible! lolololol! not my idea of a tasty fruit! ;)

my sister used to work with a guy that made his own pickles. he gave them to EVERYONE. and they were pretty much the worst pickles i have ever tasted. i shudder to think what he put in them!

ambradambra said...

Somehow, this doesn't look too bad. I might try it. I've found my own unusual fruit here in Australia - a Buddha's Hand Citron. Info on my latest blog post: