Pepino Melon


Tastes similar to cantaloupe and honeydew. Pepino Melons are ripe once the stripes turn dark purple.


Other names: Bush Melon, Solanum Muricatum, Melon Pear, Pepino Dulce, Mellowfruit, Treemelon
Translations: Pepino Πεπόνι, Pepinon Melon, Pepino البطيخ, Пепіно дині, Cogombre Meló, ペピーノメロン, Pepino dinja, Pepino Melone, Melone Pepino, Melon Pepino, Пепино дыни, Pepino 멜론, Pepino तरबूज, Pepino מלון, Pepino Melão, 佩皮诺甜瓜, Пепино Диња, Pepino Melón, Pepino пъпеш

Physical Description

This fruit is about 2 to 4 inches in size and teardrop shaped. The rind of this fruit is thin.

Colors: Yellow-green striped with dark purple

Tasting Notes

Flavors: fruity, sour, sweet, pear
Mouthfeel: Cool, Crisp, Juicy, Mushy, Mealy
Food complements: Chicken, Prosciutto, Honey, Sugar, Lemon, Lime, Mint, Orange, Duck, Feta, Ginger
Wine complements: Gewurztraminer, Pinot gris
Beverage complements: Tequila, Rum
Substitutes: Cantaloupe, Pear

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, opctober, november, december
Peak: opctober
Choosing: The melon should be somewhat heavy and sound hollow when tapped or thumped with your finger. The rind should look smooth and have a nice attractive striped pattern with no nicks or bruised looking areas on it.
Buying: Melons, including Pepino melons, are readily available at road side stands, supermarkets, farmers markets and grocery stores.
Procuring: The Pepino melon is a low shrub like plant, that can reach three feet in height. It is about the size of tomato plants and should be staked the same way. The fruit will mature thirty to eighty days after pollination.

Mild and not overly hot climates are best for this plant. California sunset zones 16 and 17, and, USDA zones 9 through 12, are good zones for the Pepino Melon. You can also grow this plant in container gardens.

Preparation and Use

The fruit is used as a melon dish or chilled and sweetened with honey or sugar to cut down on the acidic flavor. It is also poached before sweetening and served either warm or chilled.

Cleaning: Rinse with cool water to remove any soil or mud. Let dry before storing.

Conserving and Storing

The melon can be kept in a cool place for three to four weeks. It should be refrigerated before serving straight from the rind to bring out a more enjoyable taste. Cut melon should be covered tightly with a plastic wrap. If it has been poached, it should be kept no longer than three days in the refrigerator.


The Pepino Melon is from an evergreen plant in South America, especially in Peru. This melon is a popular food in Japan. The Japanese add it to various dishes. New Zealand is another nation that cultivates the Pepino Melon.


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