(Cucumis melo var momordica) The sub-species name 'momordica 'refers to its similarity to the bitter melon. Snap melon isn't bitter, but it is similar in one way: when the fruits reach full ripeness, they burst open, sometimes rather dramatically! (But snap melon is botanically a melon, and will cross with other melons. ) Widely grown in its native arid and semi-arid India, the mild-flavored fruits are used in drinks, desserts, and as a cooked vegetable. The seeds are also eaten and sometimes pressed for their oil content. Fruits are roundish, about the size of a common cantaloupe, with skin ripening to yellow, and brilliant orange flesh within. Different and, in its way, exciting!