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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Pare (Bitter Lemon)

Pare (Momordica charantia) or Bitter Melon is a vine and Asia tropical origin, especially the western India, namely Assam and Burma. Tribesmen pumpkin or Cucurbitaceous  commonly cultivated for use as a vegetable and a medicinal.In East Asian countries, such as Japan, Korea, and China, bitter melon is used for the medical treatment, among others, as a cure indigestion, pep drinks, laxatives and vomiting, and even has been extracted and packaged in capsules as herbal medicine.
While in Indonesia, bitter melon is very popular and become part of the basic materials for variety of culinary dishes. Pare though has bitter taste, treated more as a vegetable than a fruit.

Characteristics of the tree:  
Bitter lemon is a type of vine, with long fruit shape and tapered at the ends, and jagged surface. Bitter lemon grows well in the lowlands, but can be found growing wild in wastelands, dry land, cultivated, or planted in the garden with propagated in the fence, these plants grow vines or climbing the spiral tendrils, much branched, smells bad and ribbed stems. Single leaf, stemmed and located alternate, elliptic, with a length of 3.5 to 8.5 cm, width 4 cm, sharing a 5-7, heart shaped base and dark green. Flowers are single flower, androgynous in a tree, long-stemmed, yellow crown.

This plant has a high adaptability, able to adapt to different climates. Can grow well in high rainfall, grows throughout the year and not depending on the season. Requires a good drainage. Require loose soil and contains a lot of organic matter. Requires a soil pH between 5-6.  Height between 1 meter to 1500 meters above sea level.

Fruit begins to grow after 1.5 months of age, the fruit can be picked a month later, because commonly  bitter lemon is used as a vegetable  so the fruit will be picked while still young. This tree will continue to produce until the age of 5 months, the harvest will be repeated in intervals of 6-7 days.

The Fruit:
Bitter lemon contains Albiminoid, carbohydrates and dyes leaves contain bitter substances, fatty oils, resins
acids, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B1 and C. Generally the fruit is dark green, light green and pale green,  depending on the type of varieties and growing locations. Elongated fruit form is almost round like a cucumber, but the outer skin is not smooth, but wrinkled and slightly tapered. It poses the fruit flesh is white when young and when old reddish orange with a lot of seeds. Part of the fruit that consumed by people is the outer skin, this part, when young will be used as vegetable.

Food value:
In accordance with the USDA National Nutrient data base pare every 100 grams contains: Energy 79 kJ (19 kcal), Carbohydrate 4.32 g, Fat 0.18 g, Protein 0.84 g, Water 93.95 g,V itamin A equiv. 6 mg, Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0051mg, Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0053mg, Niacin (Vit. B3) 0280 mg, 0041 mg Vitamin B6, Folate (Vit. B9) 51 mg, Vitamin C 33.0 mg, 0:14 mg Vitamin E, Vitamin K 4.8 mcg, Calcium 9 mg, 0:38 Iron mg, Magnesium 16 mg, Phosphorus 36 mg, Potassium 319 mg, Sodium 6 mg and Zinc 0.77 mg

Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (Dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Dilleniidae
  •                           Order: Violales
  •                               Family: Cucurbitaceae
  •                                   Genus: Momordica
  •                                       Species: Momordica charantia L