October 7, 2016 By Fruit & Vegetable
Also known as winter melon, white gourd, wax gourd, and ash gourd, fuzzy melon is a vine crop producing a very large fruit that is fuzzy when immature. The young melon has thick white flesh that is sweet. As it matures, the fruit loses its “hair” and develops a waxy coating and long shelf life. Fuzzy melon needs warm weather to grow but the resulting fruit can be stored for up to a year, like winter squash.
In China, fuzzy melon is used in soups and is also dried and sweetened as a treat. In northern India, it is used to make petha candy while in southern India, it is used in curries or to make winter melon tea. It can also be used in stir-fries. The shoots, tendrils and leaves can also be eaten as greens.
During field variety trials conducted by the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2010, the fuzzy melon plots produced 70,000 kilograms of fruit per hectare. “That’s a lot of production,” according to Ahmed Bilal, a research associate with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC), who added fuzzy melon sells for 99 cents per pound in the grocery store.
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