Commodity: Bitter Melon
Bitter melons are members of the cucurbit family and look similar to cucumbers. They are 5 to 8 inches long. The wrinkled skin is light green, turning orange when ripe. At this ripe stage, the flesh becomes bitter, thus the name. The fruit's inside has a pink or white layer of spongy pulp and bitter seeds--soaking or cooking the melon can help cut the bitter taste. Use it in stews, stir fry, or steam for Asian-inspired cuisine. The fruit is nutrient-rich, especially in iron, calcium, potassium and beta carotene. Bitter melon is available year-round from the U.S. and Mexico.