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The Chinese Bitter Mellon, also called Bitter Gourd, Bitter Cucumber, and Balsam Pear, Foo Qua, among many other names and it's super popular in Asian Cuisine. The texture is crunchy and it's used for cooking like a vegetable.
Duhhhh. I don't know if the name gave it away but it's REALLY bitter! The flavor is sharp, and definitely an acquired taste! Many people blanch it in saltwater to dull out the bitterness and it's a good idea to pair it with spicy foods and full flavors to balance things out. An interesting fact is that it doesn't add a bitter flavor to other ingredients when cooked, it keeps it all to itself. There are too many good recipes for this pretty common gourd in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, China and India.
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