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Pepino: The juicy-sweet melon pear
In winter, exotic fruits bring variety to the fruit plate. Have you already tasted the Pepino? The juicy-sweet pulp is reminiscent of a mixture of melon and pear and has a sugar content of four to eight percent. Other ingredients are vitamin C (35 to 70 mg per 100 g) and provitamin A.
The exotic tastes in a colorful fruit salad, with yoghurt and in a quark cream. For a simple dessert, the fruit pieces are refined with a little lemon or lime juice and a spoonful of honey. The Pepino is also suitable for compote and jam. However, the fruit loses a lot of flavor when cooked.
There is an interesting contrast with savory foods. Pepino slices with Parma ham are a delicious starter. The fruit halves can also be hollowed out and filled with matjes, seafood, cheese, tomatoes or diced ham. The Pepino is also a pleasure when swirled briefly in butter.
The pepino, also called melon pear, is at home in the warm mountain valleys of Peru and Colombia. Today, however, it is also grown in many other countries in South America, the USA and New Zealand. The fruit belongs to the nightshade family and thrives on low subshrubs.
Pepinos can grow 10 to 20 centimeters long. The shape and color of the fruit are very variable, from pointed-egg-shaped to elongated like a banana or ribbed like a meat tomato. The skin can be cream to lemon yellow, purple to purple streaked.
Ripe fruit is particularly tasty, but also sensitive. Therefore, imported goods from overseas are mostly harvested green ripe. Only eat the pepino when the fruit color changes from greenish to cream-colored and the fruit gives way slightly under gentle pressure. The exotic can be eaten with or without a bowl, but it tastes a bit bitter. Alternatively, the pepino is spooned out like a kiwi. The cores are easy to remove. Since the sliced fruit changes color quickly, the pepino should only be prepared shortly before consumption. Heike Kreutz, respectively