Pepino fruit harvest season starts from mid-June to early July. During this time, most of the pepinos are ready to pick. You can choose between picking them at the beginning or waiting until they’re fully ripe before eating them.
The best time to pick pepinos is during the day when it’s cool enough so that you don’t get sunburned while picking them. If you have children, make sure they stay away from your work area!
When you’ve picked all the pepinos, place them in a large container with plenty of water. Leave out to dry for several days. Then store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
(If you’re going to freeze some of your pepinos, do it now! Otherwise, they’ll go bad.)
How long does it take to peel a pepino?
It takes about two weeks for a pepino to become completely dry. After peeling, the pepino will keep its shape but won’t be quite as juicy as fresh ones. Peel off any tough outer layer of skin first; then cut into pieces and enjoy!
Peel your pepino while it’s still a little green for a fresher flavor. The peel will be so thin, you won’t even notice it. You can also eat the skin if you wish, but most people prefer to peel it off before serving or eating the fruit.
You could also try cooking and freezing some of your pepinos, if you have too many to eat right away. Just remember, you need to cook them before freezing them. Try making a pepino crisp for an easy to make and even easier to eat recipe!
Why You Should Be Growing Your Own Pepino Melon
If you’ve never tasted a pepino melon, you don’t know what you’re missing! And lucky for you, they’re easy to grow in your backyard garden. Here’s why you should plant pepino melons in your garden this year:
1. They’re Delicious
You might think that pepino melons are just another bland-looking melon, but they pack a punch of flavor. The sweetness of a creamy cantaloupe meets the subtle tartness of an Armenian cucumber, all in one fruit!
2. They’re Easy To Grow
Pepino melons grow on small plants with deep green foliage and white and green striped fruits. The vines aren’t very prolific, only growing to about 3 or 4 feet long, but the melons themselves are big and juicy. The vines do best in a trellis, but they’ll grow just fine without one.
3. They’re Very Healthy
Not only are pepino melons absolutely delicious, they’re good for you too. They’re an excellent source of vitamin C and rich in antioxidants. Combine all that with the fact that they have very few calories and you’ve got a fruit that should be part of everyone’s healthy diet.
4. They Taste Great In Recipes
While it’s nice to just eat a pepino melon on a hot day, they really come into their own when they’re used in recipes. Cooked pepino melons have a creamy texture that goes well in pies, crisps, and other baked goods. They also make a great addition to salad.
Just be sure to only use the golden flesh and peel, as the green skin has a tendency to be a little bitter.
5. They’re Very Easy To Grow
If you live in a temperate climate, all you need to do is plant your pepino melon seeds in well-draining soil, provide support for the vine, and then just wait for maturity! Water them regularly and watch them grow! (Just be sure you wait until all danger of frost has passed before you plant!)
Pepino melons are a very easy fruit to grow and produce quickly. They’re a great conversation piece since many people have never heard of them before, let alone tasted one! Try planting a couple this year and enjoy fresh, homemade pepino melon recipes all summer long!
Sources & references used in this article:
Some maturity indices for tamarillo and pepino fruits by BM El-Zeftawi, L Brohier, L Dooley… – Journal of …, 1988 – Taylor & Francis
Postharvest quality of pepino (Solanum muricatum Ait.) fruit in controlled atmosphere storage by S Huyskens-Keil, H Prono-Widayat, P Lüdders… – Journal of food …, 2006 – Elsevier
Study of physiological and quality parameters during development and ripening of pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) fruit by C Contreras, W Schwab, M Mayershofer… – Chilean journal of …, 2019 – scielo.conicyt.cl
Field adaptation of pepino (Solanum muricatum) and melon (Cucumis melo) in the Rhineland, Germany by MJJ Janssens, A Mierowska, H Hindorf… – … ISHS Conference on Fruit …, 1999 – actahort.org