Sponge gourd (Nenwa) is a tropical fruit from the cucumber family and, like its well-known brother, has a cylindrical, elongated shape. This young, soft fruit is eaten unripe and has a slightly sweet taste, a cross between the taste of a cucumber and a zucchini. Sponge gourd has a firm skin and is spongy inside. The sponge gourd is also called Nenwa or Loofah. Fun fact: if you let this fruit ripen, the inside becomes dry, hard in shape and the color changes from green to brown. By soaking it in water for a few days, the seeds and pulp can be removed, leaving a reticulated skeleton of vascular bundles. Due to the stiff fibers, the dried Sponge Gourd is often used as a natural (scrub) sponge.