The Peppino tree /Solanum muricatum/, is known as an exotic name. Peppino originates from South America, where the ancestors of the Peruvians and Chileans have cultivated it thousands of years ago.
Like corn, its wild ancestor is not found in nature. It is grown in many temperate and subtropical regions, including Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand and California. Like cantaloupe, Peppino a slight cavity, which is filled with sweet edible little seeds.
Peppino is a close relative to the tomato and eggplant. Grows as a perennial bush that has woody stems and reaches a height of one meter. It grows very quickly and only 4-6 months after planting provides its first fruits.
The leaves of a specimen can be both simple and dissected. The flowers are grouped like potatoes and tomatoes. They have white, pale pink or bright blue color, but some varieties are even scented. Peppino fruits are melon shaped, and the main color of the skin is lined with a variety of strokes - brown, purple, green or gray.
When they reach sizes as big as a goose egg and obtains pale yellow or cream-colored, carefully detach. Overripe fruit has the same taste.
As with tomatoes, the flowers and fruits of melon tree appear constantly. Ripe fruits resemble the flavor of melon and tropical fruit.
Composition of Peppino
Peppino contains between 4-8% sugar, very high proportion of vitamin C and provitamin A. It is rich in the minerals iron and calcium, and lots of fiber. 100 g Peppino contains 80 kcal, between 35 to 70 mg of vitamin C.
Selection and storage of Peppino
Choose ripe fruit, whose skin slightly bends to pressure. Avoid fruit in which there are traces of decay. Do not worry, if you purchase immature Peppino because it can ripen at room temperature. Otherwise, ripe fruits are kept in the refrigerator where you can keep them fresh for 2-3 weeks.
Culinary use of Peppino
Peppino can be stewed, and as such is used as a garnish. Fried Peppino's great second dish that will give a very exotic air to each table. Many people prefer to eat alone Peppino is cleaned of seeds and lightly chilled. It can be eaten with or without the skin.
Benefits of Peppino
In America, Peppino was chosen as one of the super fruits. It is believed that it helps in diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney stones. Regular consumption of Peppino reduces the risk of these diseases. Peppino fruits improve endurance and provide the necessary energy to the body.
Peppino contains high amounts of vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that is particularly useful against attacks by free radicals that cause cancer and premature age the body. Vitamin C is needed to strengthen the immune system so that the body is susceptible to disease.
Fiber in the Peppino improves digestion and prevents obesity. Peppino has a great taste and healthy qualities, so if you have not ever tried this fruit, now is the time to try.