In the April 2004 newsletter Errol and Regina found that for them planting Kiwano or African Horned Cucumber was a mistake. My experience with it is quite positive. While kiwano originally comes from Africa it grows on the edge of the Australian desert and has been cultivated in New Zealand. In the 1950’s in outback Queensland it was commonly used as a fruit or as a vegetable in the same way you would use squash or choko. I enjoy growing it because it needs little attention, comes up every year and is quite manageable probably due to lower rain fall in western Brisbane. Kiwano provides my family and a few other kiwano lovers with “cucumbers” for about 2 months. These are the ones I pick while they are still green in colour and then later in the season the skin becomes golden yellow and they can be eaten in fruit salads or made into jam. The only complaint I have is some kiwano get infested with green caterpillars and while my chooks love eating these plump green creatures, they refuse to enter the spiky patch and harvest their own. Ref: Judy Walker
A Carribean recipe for Kiwano Jam
Peel 1kg kiwano – cut in half lengthwise then cut into ¼ inch thick slices from golden yellow fruit.
Put kiwano slices and all the seeds in a large saucepan.
Add 3 cups of brown sugar and juice of 1 lime – let stand for 20minutes – stir occasionally
Bring to the boil and cook for 20 – 30 mins on moderate heat.
Add 2 tsp star anise a few minutes before the end of cooking.
Pour into sterile jars. The seeds in the jam develop an almond flavour after a few weeks
Sheryl: May be OK for a suburban backyard but on acreage it becomes a weed.