Beware the snozzcumber.

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Bitter gourd. A possible inspiration for The Big Friendly Giant's snozzcumber.

The bitter gourd. A possible inspiration for The Big Friendly Giant’s snozzcumber.

There is an interesting fruit and veg stall on Cambridge market where unusual vegetables can be found.  When shopping there just before Easter, I came across the above vegetables, called Karelas.  Always up for something different, I bought one and duly steamed it along with some Samphire.  Being Easter, my offsprung were with me and they cried, ‘Oh, no! Not a snozzcumber!’  They both ate a bit, fell about laughing and challenged me to eat mine.  The snozzcumber is an astonishingly bitter vegetable.  It hits you after a few chomps.  I did nosh away at a few pieces, quite enjoying the unusual bitterness.  But I didn’t eat a load of it, I have to admit.  And I haven’t felt the urge to rush up to Cambridge to buy some more.  I have subsequently found out that the Karela is also known as the bitter gourd or bitter melon.  Both slightly more honest names than ‘Karela Green’.

Bitter vegetables are extremely good for us, so I investigated recipes for this one.  I suspect it is best curried: I will try adding it to a beef curry, if I can track it down again, to give a different kick.  I just used the outside green bit, taking the seeds out,  since they looked really suspect, as can be seen in the picture below.


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