PEPINO MELON (Solanum muricatum) One of our all-time favorite fruits! This eggplant relative produces fruit that ranges in size from a chicken egg to a large goose egg, with a cream-colored rind that often has beautiful purple stripes. It has a sweet, mild flesh that is very melon-like. Use fresh or cooked. Beautiful, glossy ornamental plants require a fairly long season and are grown like eggplants. We had an abundant crop of these delectable fruits this past season here in Missouri. This fun plant can be grown indoors. Pepinos are popular in Peru, New Zealand and Australia and have just recently started to become common in U.S. markets. This plant is native to the Andes Mountain region
- The Pepino Melon was sighted and described by early Spanish colonists as growing along the Peruvian coast and particularly abundant in the Moche Valley in Peru. In fact, the Pepino Melon dates back to the Moche civilization in northern Peru in 100 A.D.–800 A.D. While the seeds are tiny and soft and have not been found in archeological digs, the image of the Pepino Melon has been found in Moche pottery and other works of art.