The purple-striped ‘melumber’ – officially known as the pepino – tastes like a cross between a melon and a cucumber.
Pepinos have a high potassium content, which can help lower blood pressure, and are packed with vitamins A, B and C – all of which protect against cancer and heart disease. They are also ideal for dieters as a 100g serving contains only 23 calories.
The seeded fruit is shaped like a melon and grows to about the size of a goose egg. It can be eaten as a pudding or an appetizer.
While common across South America, pepinos have rarely been seen in Europe, although enterprising farmers in France have started growing them.