Melon

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About

A Melon is the fleshy fruit of members of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants.

Information

Translations: Melone, Melionas, Pepene galben, Dinja, Dưa gang, Meloen, तरबूज़, Melão, Дыня, Πεπόνι, شمام, 멜론, Meloun, 甜瓜, Meló, Melona, Melón, Melone, מלון, Диња, メロン, Melone, Melón, Диня, Meloni, Пъпеш

Physical Description

Having a hard rind and sweet juicy flesh

When purchasing, melons should be heavy for their size and give off a pleasant sweet aroma, but not smell too musky as this is a sign that they are over-ripe.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet and juicy
Wine complements: Moscato
Substitutes: Honeydew, Cantaloupe

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Choosing a ripe melon depends on the preferences of the individual. For a heavy musk flavor and softer flesh look for an Eastern Shipper with a strong yellow color, no stem (peduncle) attached, and a strong musk aroma. For a sweeter, crisper melon look for a Western Shipper without stem (peduncle) and a mild musk odor. For a very sweet melon with little or no musk choose a fruit that has the stem still on the fruit and no aroma.

Choose fragrant, symmetrical cantaloupes, heavy for size with no visible bruises and yellow or cream undertone. Stem end should give to gentle pressure.

Procuring: Because they are descended from tropical plants, and tend to require warm temperatures throughout a relatively long growing period, melons grown in temperate climates are frequently started indoors, and grown indoors for 14 days or longer, before being transplanted outdoors

Preparation and Use

Melon is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard. Melon pieces wrapped in prosciutto are a familiar antipasto.

Conserving and Storing

Store uncut cantaloupes at room temperature for up to 1 week. Refrigerate cut melon in airtight container up to 5 days.

Social/Political

History: Despite China having known the melon for at least 3,000 years, there is little clear evidence that it was the sweet melon that was eaten, but was more likely to have been the wild, bitter kind which could not be eaten raw.

Author

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