A tropical fruit, native to South America that provides a mildly sweet cantaloupe and pear-like or honeydew melon flavor. The size and shape of this fruit varies depending on the speicies of the plant producing the Pepino Melon. Some Pepino Melons are small and round with a shape like an egg or apple, while others may be oblong in shape. The color of the outer skin may vary from a solid purple or green to a light cream and yellow color. In addition, the skin may have streaks of lighter or darker colors that are present among the various colored backgrounds of the Pepino. When it grows as a green colored fruit, the outer skin of the Pepino will have purple-lined streaks that remain as the fruit ripens from a pale green to a golden yellow. Despite the outer color of the Pepino Melon, the inner flesh will be orange to yellow in color. This fruit can be eaten raw, similar to an apple, consuming both the skin and the juicy inner flesh. Typically, the inner meat of the Pepino will contain edible soft seeds. However, some round shaped Pepino Melons have no seeds while the pear or egg-shaped varieties have some seeds and the oblong-shaped Melons contain the most seeds.
To serve, an unripened Pepino can be baked like a squash or when ripe, cut in half and prepared like a fresh melon. The Pepino Melon can also be used as an appetizer or an ingredient for salads, beverages, and sorbets. For storage, the Pepino can be ripened at room temperature or if it is ripe it should be stored in the refrigerator. This fruit is also known as a Melon Pear, Mellow Fruit, Mellowfruit, Pepino Dulce and Tree Melon.