One in a Melon! Unusual Melons to Try

Posted August 19, 2021

Melons are some of the most delicious fruits of the summer. Chilled watermelon on a hot day is refreshing and sweet, honeydew wrapped with prosciutto divine, and cantaloupe with mint a perfect treat. There are many varieties of melons available at your local farmers' market, not all of which might be familiar, but are equally delicious. Many melons are available at the farmers' market that simply cannot be found elsewhere.

Being the explorers that we are and since melons are in peak season, we set out to discover some unconventional varieties that we hadn't tried before. Here's what we found:

Bittermelon: Wow, this one is a mouth puckerer! Rightfully named, the bittermelon is a member of the cucumber family and can visually look very similar to an Armenian cucumber. We found a few varieties ranging from a spiky green rind to a wrinkly green, but don't confuse it for a cucumber and put it in your salad! We recommend researching some recipes before giving this one a try.

Goldendew: This lovely melon is oval and has a pale to medium-light rind with white flesh. At first, the almost chewy flesh was a little disconcerting, but the sweet refreshing flavor won us over. We thought this melon would be great wrapped with prosciutto or ham or made into a nice chilled soup.

Orangedew: An orange-fleshed honeydew with a pale green to almost white skin, this one is a winner for its mild honeydew flavor and slightly floral aroma. We found it had a nice firm bite but was still juicy. This melon would be tasty mixed with other melons in a salad, made into a refreshing smoothie, or just eaten out of hand.

Canary: This melon is shaped like a yellow football, elongated in shape, and a lovely bright yellow with white flesh. We discovered the taste to be mild, sweet, and with an almost tangy flavor. Its smell was reminiscent of a pineapple! We thought this would be good as a fruit salsa, in a melon/onion salad with feta cheese, or even blended into a cocktail.

Hami and Golden Hami: These varieties originated from Hami, Xinjiang in China. This was a favorite among our tasters because it has a crisp and very sweet flesh that has almost an apple texture. Our thought is, it would be good eaten as is right off the rind. The skin is netted like a cantaloupe, and pale beige/white.

Galia: It resembles a large orange or lemon, has the texture of a cantaloupe, and possesses the flesh of a honeydew. This was another favorite among the staff as the flavor is a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew, familiar yet different in taste. They thought it would make a nice addition to fruit salads.

Korean: Another member of the cucumber family, we loved this melon!  It has a delicate floral, sweet, and subtly vegetal flavor well suited for chilled, fresh preparations, and found it to be a very pretty melon with bright yellow with white flesh. The skin was thinner than other melons and easy to cut and even eaten. The white flesh was almost crisp, with a very mild cantaloupe flavor with a bit of banana thrown in. We thought this melon would be great for salads and would make a very nice chilled soup.

We hope our journey into the unknown has helped inspire you.  Visit your market today to discover something new to add to your recipe repertoire!