Cucumeropsis Mannii African Melon ( Egusi)

May 27, 2019 | posted in: | by

Cucumeropsis mannii is a species of melon native to tropical Africa west of the East African Rift, where it is grown for food and as a source of oil.

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Description

Cucumeropsis mannii is a species of melon native to tropical Africa west of the East African Rift, where it is grown for food and as a source of oil.

Its common names include egusi in Yoruba and agushi in Hausa. In English it is known as Mann’s cucumeropsis and white-seed melon. It produces climbing vines up to 4 meters long which are covered in stiff hairs. The heart-shaped or roughly palmate leaves are up to 12 centimeters long and 14 wide. It bears small yellow male and female flowers with petals under a centimeter in length. The fruit is egg-shaped or an elongated ovate shape, up to about 19 centimeters long and 8 wide, and cream in color with green streaks. The fruit and white seeds are edible. The plant is grown more often for the seed oil than for the fruit.

They are prepared for consumption by parching and pounding to free the seed-coat from the kernel – this kernel can be eaten either raw or cooked, most commonly being utilized when ground to a powder and added to soups and stews

The seeds (including the seedcoat) are also roasted and served as a snack In flavour they resemble groundnuts – they are rich in oil and contain more protein than the latter.

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