Photo: Wikimedia Commons / VasenkaPhotography

Is it an apple? A watermelon? A pumpkin? 

Zee Krstic
October 05, 2017

On a recent trip to the farmer’s market, I came across a gaggle of people perusing the ever-popular seasonal selection of fresh gourds. But rather than seeing the typical selection of pumpkins, something unusual caught my eye.

It was a large, deep green gourd with a stem sticking out of the top – immediately, I thought, is that an oversized apple?

Photo: Hutchinson Farm.

It’s actually called an apple gourd, and it’s been flying under the radar for a long time. It looks like a hybrid of a pumpkin and an apple (and maybe also a watermelon?), and would definitely turn heads as part of your autumnal decor.

The official scientific name of the gourd is known as ‘lagenaria siceraria’, but in markets they’re often referred to as apple gourds or Indian baby pumpkins. Another name for the apple gourd is the Tinda melon gourd, which sounds similar to the popular dating app, Tinder. Go figure.

At peak freshness, the gourd is a deep shade of green, but over time, the gourd slowly molts into a shade of brown. But don’t worry – multiple online sellers assure buyers that this gourd has a shelf life of more than 100 days.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / VasenkaPhotography

We’d love to use this understated harvest gourd to adorn our Halloween spreads, or even to bring something new to the crafting table. It’s important to note, however, that apple gourds aren’t edible – but, if you have a craving, there’s a slew of other gourd varieties you are able to eat.