Photographer's Note

Made this picture on a market in Can Tho. On the left you see the bitter melon (also known as ku gua) and on the right the colourfull eggplant.

Bitter melon is often used in asian cooking. In Vietnam bitter melon soup with shrimp is a popular dish. A bitter melon tastes bitter (duh). It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large flat seeds and pith.

Bitter melons have been used in various Asian traditional medicine systems for a long time. Like most bitter-tasting foods, bitter melon stimulates digestion.

The eggplant, aubergine or brinjal is closely related to the tomato and potato and is native to southern India and Sri Lanka. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste but, when cooked, becomes tender and develops a rich flavour. The eggplant is used in cuisines from Japan to Spain.

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Additional Photos by Marie Louise Hagen (marielouitje) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 23 W: 5 N: 22] (256)
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