The National Bittermelon Council

BITTER MELON bit·ter mel·on (noun)

1: The edible fruit of the plant Momordica Charantia. The bitter melon grows in tropical and subtropical climates. The name ‘bitter’ comes from the bitter taste of this vegetable, considered the most bitter among all edible vegetables.

2: A long, warty, and very bitter fruit used in global cuisine, healing practice, and art. A member of the gourd family, it possesses qualities that can be used as food, medicine, and as instigators of situations that promote conversation and community.

What is the NBMC?

The National Bitter Melon Council (NBMC) is devoted to the cultivation of a vibrant, diverse community through the promotion and distribution of Bitter Melon. Our projects, events, and festivals celebrate the health, social, culinary, and creative possibilities of this underappreciated vegetable. Advocating the acceptance of Bitter Melon across cultures and cuisines, we believe that Bitter Melon creates an alternative basis for community – that of bitterness!

Did you know?

Bitter Melon, also known as Balsam pear, balsamina (Spanish), ku gua or foo gwa (Chinese), and assorossie (French), is a truly unique and bitter ingredient that is not yet well known in the United States.

Bitter compounds evolved in plants as a mechanism to deter consumption by animals. Humans, unlike other mammals, are the only creatures to have developed a palate (or taste) for bitterness. Bitterness defines our humanity!

What’s NEW?

We are included in the exhibition called Feast:Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum of Art. If you are in the area, please check it out!

We are included in this month’s Hyphen Magazine! The hardcopy issue is available at stores near you (not online…). Here is the sneak preview.

People often ask us “so what kinds of projects do you do?”. We actually have a project page under WORK, but you can also go from here

Meyers-Bitter Survey is a yes/no question survey that applies examples and discoveries from the NBMC’s own experiences, social-research, and events from the past year to further explore the emotion of bitterness and the concept of community, identity, and belonging.