The reason for this cute name is because these gourds are harvested young, at which point in their development they’re covered in small white hairs. As they mature, these hairs are shed and the thin, blotchy skin gets tougher and more uniform. This might be obvious but, when cooking with fuzzy melons, you need to remove these hairs by scraping or scrubbing the fruit first.
Fuzzy melons can reach almost a foot long and are a skinny oblong shape similar to a zucchini or cucumber.
Just like other gourds, they have a satisfying texture to bite into. They also absorb the flavors of other ingredients quite well, so there’s not really a limit as to how you can cook with them! They’re popular stir-fried, braised, steamed, stuffed like a squash, and more.
Among other nutritional qualities, fuzzy melons are high in vitamin C and low in calories. They also have notable amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamins B1 and B2. You can find fuzzy melons in season in Uwajimaya’s produce department.