Comments: Bitter Melon with Chiles, Yogurt ,and Peaches

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How strange! Aside from bitter, how did the melons taste - like aspirin? Quinine? I've cooked with sour flavours, but I'm wracking my brain to think of what - besides a nice cold G&T - has a pleasantly bitter taste...

Is it truly a member of the melon family? Can it be consumed raw? Enquiring minds want to know!!

(Yeah, I could google it, but why not make you work?)

The taste was not unlike a more intense version of the moist seeds of cucumbers or tomatoes or even plain uncooked pumpkin seeds. I've been told they are technically a squash like zucchini, so that may account for it.

It took a little courage to get past the first raw tasting, but as they cooked, they mellowed a little.

Eggplant. There's that bitter component to eggplant that this reminded me of.

I've always been afraid to cook with bitter melon, too, but I love the idea of peaches with it. In the community garden adjacent to my house in Boston, many Chinese families had small, intensively-gardened plots. One woman, Nancy Soohoo, grew the most amazing bitter melons. She had built a frame out of wood and strung wire across the top. The melon vines grew up and over the frame, and the melons hung down into the cage. She brought me inside one time to admire the melons. It was like an upside-down lunar landscape -- absolutely beautiful! I asked whether I might try one of the melons, and she said no, because she thought I (non-Asian) wouldn't like the taste. I've steered clear of the melons ever since, though I remember Nancy with great fondness.

Its just not as bitter if you fry it with a lot of spices and chopped onion. Rather its a green vegetable, quite good for eyes and health...........and to think of eating it raw....................is only wat you can think and never eat.

Zak and Morganna and I adore bitter melon. The favorite way we eat it is stir fried with onion, garlic, ginger, chile and fermented black beans. I usually add white meat chicken slices to the stir fry, but I like it without the chicken, too.

I have had it cooked Indian style, as well--and I like it that way fine, but neither Morganna and Zak like it unless the Cantonese fermented black beans are there.

It is odd--it is the only member of the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, melons, squashes and pumkins, that Zak likes at all. He despises the rest, but the one member of the family that most Americans cannot abide, he is all about it.

Very weird, my husband.

the chinese way is awesome: cooked, of course! but with black bean sauce & beef... mmmm.

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