Each cuisine has a dish that is exotic to a trained palette but needs a lot of training (read force feeding) to get there. Being widely touted for its exotic nutritional/ disease fighting qualities, kids are trained from an early age to acquire the taste. But once you are converted there is no going back. This has a addictive effect of its patrons.
In three years of having a vegetable garden, I am finally proud to report the arrival of the "Bitter Melon".
For the uninitiated, yes ....these are really bitter.
I am growing two varieties this year. The one pictured above is the Asian variety that is considerably less bitter than its Indian counterpart. There are a lot more little baby Bitter Melons out there and I have my fingers crossed for a big harvest.
Oh, and Karela is its Hindi name. A sought after Indian delicacy it is also known as Bitter Gourd and Pagakkaai(Tamil).