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bitter melon

By 12:31 AM , , ,

bitter melon
Originally uploaded by looseid

Curiously for the last year or so, I've been inexplicably drawn to bitter flavors. This isn't something that's weighing me down, but conversely lifting me up.

Of all the bitter flavors, bittersweet chocolate, beer, coffee, endive or strong matcha, bitter melon is the most striking of the bunch. Maybe it's the medicinal effect. Or maybe it's simply my palate upping the ante.

Today I cut one open, only to be slightly alarmed by the bright orange seeds bleeding within, like tender blisters. In my past butchery, I only recall seeds of the same hue as the reptilian green exterior. You remove these seeds anyway, as well as the cotton surrounding it, only cooking up the pale green flesh, so my apprehension did subside quickly. Come to think of it, its cousin-like avocado has the alligator-like rough skin and a center pit that behaves similarly. When you split open the pit, it instantly turns the same cayenne orange, almost as if it were screaming out its fatal injury.

Anyway, I've grown to love this veg so much. This, a few years back, would have been an impossibility. I was in no way shape or form interested in something that tasted so astringent and aggressive. Now I love it.

I certainly hope my character isn't leaning toward these flavor descriptors...

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  1. It must be called "Niga-Uri" in Japanese.
    I knew someone who was crazy about it.
    I haven't tried yet though.

  2. It's definitely an acquired taste. But like most acquired flavors, once you're hooked, it really becomes a fervent craving.

    Try it someday, but only where it's prepared properly, like a good Shanghainese restaurant.