There are no U.S. grade standards for Balsam-Pear. These instructions have been developed by the Specialty Crops Inspection Division to assist officially licensed inspectors in making inspections, writing certificates and to assist in the proper identification of specialty type fruits and vegetables.
Balsam-Pear (Bitter Melon, Balsam Apple, Bitter Cucumber), Also known as bitter melon, this product is harvested before it is mature. It is at its best when it is beginning to ripen. The interior of the melon is pithy and has many flat seeds in pulplike coverings. The seeds are white to brown, with a peculiar pattern on the surface, depending on the degree of ripeness. The rind is grayish green, becoming bright yellow to orange when ripe. The pulplike seed coverings becomes bright red at maturity. The ripe fruit will have a slightly sweet taste.