There is a discussion going on the SF board right now and I'm a little annoyed. It turns out people really DON'T like bitter melon all that much.
I'm annoyed because I have tried in the past to show my appreciation for all things Chinese and not being a food wimp ... yeah, bitter melon ... I'll have that ... yeah, uh ... interesting ... I like the contrast of ...
Well, you get the idea ... my little culinary tap dance not to look like a doof because ... yes ... I'll admit it here ... I really DON'T like bitter melon !!!
However, the mention of bitter rmelon ice cream in this thread has me intrigued ... and bitter melon chips ... where can I get those? They might pair up nice WITH the ice cream.
Here's the topic on the SF Board
Supposedly it is a food that once you aquire a taste it is a craving. Also, it is 'old people's food' because most people don't like it until later in life ... Don't trust any bitter melon until you are over 30.
Too bad because it is supposed to clear acne ... and for the older folks, good for diabetes according to folk lore.
Supposedly Okinawans LOVE bitter melon, but one person thought the bitter melon drink "tastes like evil". There is an Okinawan dish - goya champuru -- bitter melon stirfried with tofu, Spam and egg. Yikes.
One poster said "There are a couple of preps that reduce the bitterness to just a hint and actually, after eating, leaves a cool, tingling sensation in the back of your throat (kinda like artichokes)."
The white bitter melons, grown wrapped in newspaper, are supposed to be milder. Also putting it in soup or as an accent is supposed to be the way to go. Salting, blanching or pickling it cuts the bitterness ... a bit.
The Chinese term for it is really translated to cool/cold melon.
Here's a Wikipedia article (pretty flower). There's a link at the end to The National Bitter Melon Council which celebrated bitter melon week in July 2005.
So, do YOU like bitter melon?