Bitter melon is long and narrow, resembling a very bumpy-skinned cucumber. It is medium green in color and has crisp off-white fresh and small seeds. The younger the melon is, the less bitter it tastes.
Long thought to have medicinal value, bitter melon has been used as an alternative therapy to treat everything from infections to type 2 diabetes. It is rich in iron, beta carotene, calcium, and potassium.
Originally from India, bitter melon is used in stir-fry, stew, soup, and other recipes that can match its strong, sometimes overpowering flavor.