This bumpy-skinned gourd is bitter in taste due to its high quinine content. It is native to the cuisines of tropical south China, southeast Asia, and India where it is pickled. Originally, bitter melon, or foo qua, was used as medicine believed to purify the blood. Other names for bitter melon include balsam pear, bitter cucumber, and bitter gourd. Indian Bitter Melon is another variety with bumpier ––almost spiky––dark green skin.
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