Not a pear at all, but the fruit of a tropical climbing herb in Africa and Asia. It is similar to a cucumber and is used as a vegetable in meat dishes, fish dishes, and in soups. Also called “bitter melon” or “bitter gourd.”

An oblong-shaped fruit (4-8 inches long) with warty, bumpy skin similar to a cucumber. Bitter melon is yellow-green when picked and has a delicate, sour flavor. As it ripens it turns yellow-orange and become bitter and acrid. It is one of the most bitter edible vegetables, and is often used in Chinese cooking.

Season: available year-round

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