Organic Honeydew Melons
By Mark Mulcahy
So I’m walking through my local produce department the other day and was suddenly awakened by the most enticing smell from a large, beautiful pile of Melissa’s Organic Orange Honeydew
melons. I stopped in my tracks, moved closer to the mounds of delectable delight and plunged my nose deep into the fragrantly ripe melons. The journey always begins with your nose and the scent was intoxicating, perhaps that is why they are known as temptation melons. I knew I had to have one to open and enjoy, so I carefully picked one up gave a big sniff and found the perfect one.
When I brought it to a family gathering I was surprised that many of my family members had never tried an orange honeydew and rarely bought the green ones because they didn't know how to pick out a good one. Which got me to thinking this may be true of many folks these days. Let’s dive into the world of honeydews and see if we can’t have you enjoying these sweet succulent globes of goodness for the rest of the summer and early fall.
August through October is a perfect time to choose a Melissa’s Organic Honeydew
because a crop of honeydews are ripening and ready in California, and with the heat they become ready so quickly the growers can barely keep up. This is great for a honeydew lover because the melons stay on the vine longer, which means riper melons that are at their sweetest.
So how do you choose the best one?
Go for melons that are firm and weighty, it should feel heavy for its size. The fruit should feel firm but not rock-hard. The creamy colored skin should feel velvety with no hint of softness, though it should give slightly if you press your fingers into the rind. Probe the blossom (nonstem) end gently with your finger. It should be slightly soft, giving a little to mild pressure. At room temperature, ripe honeydew will exude a very pleasant fragrance. The presence of a little brown freckling is a sign of enhanced sweetness.
Often harvested before fully ripe, honeydews are very high in sugar and will continue to ripen after harvest, something most melons will not do. Orange honeydew has a firmer texture than green and a tutti-frutti flavor, which makes it the perfect thing to put in your mouth and delight your taste buds on hot summer day. All honeydews are rich in vitamin C and history too!
While we know them as honeydews or temptation melons, around the world they are also known as Moon Melons! These round, water-filled melons symbolize the moon, healing and purification, according to myths of many cultures. Even though they grew wild from Egypt to Iran and India, it wasn’t until the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Arab civilizations that melons were cultivated and became popular. (Today, some of the best melons continue to be grown in the Middle East.) Later, Columbus brought melon seed to Haiti where it spread to Florida and naturalized in areas along the Gulf coast so well that early American explorers assumed it was a native plant. Native or not they sure are good ripe, raw and cooked! Here’s an easy grilled honeydew recipe for your next full moon gathering.
Honeydews are so sweet; they caramelize beautifully and very quickly on the grill.
- Light a grill.
- Wash your melons with light soapy water, rinse well.
- Cut your honeydew into 1” wedges.
- Carefully remove the rind with a sharp knife.
- Place wedges on the grill.
- Grill the melon wedges over high heat, turning once, until caramelized, for about 1 minute.
- Take off the heat and serve with vanilla ice cream or vegan coconut ice cream.
Now give into temptation and take a bite of the moon!