Off topic: Culinary

Steve Marak
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 09:00:02 PST

My comment is tangential, as I have no culinary experience with it, but 
when I saw the name Melothria, my mind flashed to one of the worst weeds 
in my yard, Melothria pendula. (This even though it is apparently native, 
and, if one can believe the USDA site, even has threatened or endangered 
status in a few US states farther north and east. I could send them 
truckloads, if anyone actually wanted them.)

My faint memory from previous research was that M. pendula wasn't edible, 
though clearly birds and other things here in NW Arkansas think they're 
candy, but a quick Google upon reading your note shows discord on the 
subject. At least one site says that M. pendula is eaten pickled when 
green and is good when fully ripe, but another says it's a strong 
laxative. (I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive.)

The pictures of M. scabra on the link in your post look very similar to M. 
pendula except for the color of the fruit. M. pendula is completely black 
when fully ripe.


On Tue, 10 Feb 2009, James Waddick wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> 	I know enough of you and your culinary wanderings, that I 
> thought I'd ask if you know of this little vine commonly called 'Cuke 
> Nuts' or 'Mouse Melon" (don't you love these common names?) and 
> botanically as Melothria scabra. This is a Mexican cucurbit with 
> edible fruits.
> 	Never saw or heard of it before seeing this web site:
> 	Any experiences to share?

-- Steve Marak

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