Good Eatin’ – Very Bitter Bitter Melon

List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You DieFood item: Bitter Melon

Today marks my second attempt to cook with bitter melon. I had previously bought one of these gourds a few weeks ago but didn’t get to cooking it fast enough and it began to putrefy. I guess that I really should have learned by now that I need to cook list vegetables as soon as I get them.

Anyway, at least this didn’t cost a lot of money… like if I’d bought myself caviar and let that go off. One of the reasons that I have yet to buy beluga caviar. That and the crippling expense. Seriously, I’m more likely to make it to Vietnam and sample elephant ear fish before I cross off both of the caviars.

Anyway. The book warned of the bitterness of the vegetable (with a name like ‘bitter melon’ it feels like this should go without saying) and that a way to counter this is to pre-salt the chopped gourd and squeeze the water out. Like when you are making courgette pancakes… or anything with courgette really.

So, I did that and followed this recipe to try and make the best of the bitter melon. What can I say, it’s bitter. So bitter that it felt like my mouth was under attack – similar to eating a chilli, but bitter instead of hot. The balsamic-soy dressing was a nice idea and the first bite was fine – it’s that aftertaste which makes this unpalatable.

I think I can categorically say that I don’t understand how something that tastes like this was able to find its way into a culture’s cuisine. Bitterness is an acquired taste, I know that, but this really is beyond the pale. I might have to re-evaluate my relationship with sprouts

Progress: 686/751

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