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Summer's Sweet Harvest: June's Freshest Fruits!

Image of Charentais Melons
Charentais Melon
Named for a region in Southeast France, Charentais melons have a rich melon flavor with a honeyed finish, perfect for summertime outdoor meals and gatherings. This small French melon is fragrant and juicy with good texture. They are best served raw and well chilled. Wonderfully refreshing, simply pare rind and seed, chop into chunks, then slowly purée. Add lemon or white wine to taste, strain for cold melon soup, and garnish with mint or a dollop of crème fraiche. Slice into wedges and serve with crisp, peppery arugula and a nice vinaigrette. But to really show off its flavor, pair Charentais wrapped with prosciutto for a special grazing board treat, or halve, seed, then fill with your favorite yogurt, berries, and summer fruits.

Select Charentais that are heavy for their size, slightly fragrant, and skin with no dark spots, cuts, or bruises. Store at room temperature up to three days before serving, then refrigerate. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, refrigerate up to two days or freeze for smoothies or sorbet.

Image of Strawberry Papaya
Strawberry Papaya
This lusciously orange-red fleshed papaya has a flavor reminiscent of peaches and berries, and is similar in size to Hawaiian papaya. You can understand why it is a favorite among papaya aficionados and a classic ingredient at beach parties and luaus! Papaya contains papain, an enzyme good for digestion, and its edible seeds have a peppery flavor.

A ripe papaya will yield to very slight pressure and will have mostly yellow skin. Simply cut in half and remove seeds. Peel skin, if you wish, with a veggie peeler. An over-ripe Strawberry Papaya will be full yellow in color, and are best used in smoothies, dressings, or as marinade at this stage. Papaya must be fully poached to use in gelatin, or the enzyme will prevent gelling. Just ripe papaya is a colorful addition in a salsa for seafood and chicken, or poached in spiced simple syrup and dressed with a squeeze of lime or gilded with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.

Allow papaya to ripen at room temperature in a paper bag. Check daily. Washed and cut fruit may be refrigerated for 3-5 days or peeled and frozen into cubes or large slices for up to one month.

Image of Fresh CocoPom Snax™
NEW! Fresh CocoPom Snax™
Spring and summer are busy, on-the-go days when you need a bit of energy and something to curb hunger. Time for a cup of Melissa’s Fresh CocoPom Snax™! With no added sugar, the cups are available in three different combinations: Fresh Coco Snax™- fresh coconut chunks, Fresh Pom Snax™- fresh pomegranate arils bursting with pom flavor, or Fresh CocoPom Snax™ -a combination of both pomegranate arils and fresh coconut cubes. Each CocoPom Snax™ cup is 4.4oz, just enough not only for snacking but also enough to garnish a family green salad or fruit salad, add to homemade popsicles, or top sorbet. Keep refrigerated and enjoy by noted date code, or freeze for later use, up to one month. Available year-round.

Image of Rambutans
Rambutans
This hairy-looking tree fruit is a member of the lychee family and is native to Southeast Asia. Rambut, by the way, is Malay for the word ‘hairy.’ Its bright pink-red skin and protruding hair-like feelers catch one’s eyes while perusing the grocery produce section for something out of the ordinary. Very refreshing, whether room temperature or chilled, rambutan’s juicy flesh, with a pit, is similar in texture to a firm grape with a floral aroma. The pit MUST BE COOKED to be edible as a snack nut.

Delicious out of hand, rambutan is also served in mixed fruit dishes, coconut soups and curries, puréed for jams, jellies, or ices, halved and served with skin on as a garnish. To unlock rambutan’s tropical experience, wash and pat dry fruit; carefully cut around the equator of the fruit to break through the shell with a small knife or thumbnail, then twist apart or push on the end of the fruit to release the flesh. The flesh may then be halved and pitted, then enjoyed. Don’t forget to have a napkin handy!

Select plump and firm fruit with no signs of juice or mold with flexible feelers. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days or up to one week refrigerated. Rambutan may be frozen whole or shelled and pitted, then frozen for up to three months. Due to high water content, thawed rambutan may be a bit soft, but will still be delicious and refreshing.

Image of Precious Honeyglow® Pineapples
Precious Honeyglow® Pineapples
So darling, this Honeyglow™ variety pineapple is precious! Smaller than the full-sized HoneyGlow® Pineapple but with less commitment, Precious Honeyglow® are just as richly flavored as their big sister and just as toothsome in texture. This size of pineapple is just right as a two-serving treat. Great for serving into spears with a squeeze of key lime or Melissa’s Pico de Gallo seasoning shaker, slice into large wheels and grill, or juice or purée for that morning pick-me-up or frozen treat! Here’s an idea: Leaving the crown in place, cut pineapple in half from head to toe, then scoop out the flesh and make a pineapple sorbet or ‘freeze’. Fill shell with sorbet scoops and top with Melissa’s CocoPom Snax™ Coconut and Pomegranate Arils or fresh berries. Garnish with fresh edible flowers or mint sprigs.

Image of Midnight Watermelons
Yellow, Orange and Midnight Watermelons
We eat with our eyes first, then our mouths, so why limit your eyes to just one color of watermelon? Did you know watermelon originated from Africa and was traded for its high-water content throughout the Mediterranean trade routes? The seeds were carried on board ships to America!

Have fun with Melissa’s Yellow Watermelon! Its refreshing flavor and yellow flesh fool the eye and mind into believing it is pineapple on the serving tray. Yellow watermelon is generally sweeter than the well-known red varieties. Or why not try our Mini Midnight Watermelon with its rich red flesh and deep dark skin? This is NOT another red watermelon. Its fleshy interior may have a few edible tracer seeds, but its juiciness and fruity flavor are what matter. Don’t forget: watermelon rinds are popular for pickling and snacking, too!

Have you ever seen an Orange Watermelon? Well, they do exist and are now in season! Orange watermelons can have seeds and are just as juicy and flavorful as their yellow and red relatives. Knowing watermelon contains a high water content, select a watermelon that is heavy for its size. Gently rap on the watermelon to hear an ‘echo’ rather than a flat ‘thump,’ and don’t worry about a melon with a flat or yellow bottom (not white!) Avoid remaining vine, cuts or splits to the melon. Uncut melon may be stored at room temperature, then washed well before cutting. Refrigerate unused cut watermelon for up to 3 days. Cut watermelon may be frozen up to 3 months and used for drinks or minted watermelon soup!

Image of Melissa’s Spice Grinders
Melissa’s Spice Grinders
Outdoor barbecue season is just around the corner, and Melissa’s NEW grinders will enhance the flavors of some of your dishes. The containers each have a built-in grinder making them quite portable and easy to have near the grill or in a picnic basket. They also make a nice ‘hostess’ gift! Why not get all five?

Spicy Sesame Seasoning
A nice blend of sesame seeds, sea salt and red pepper flakes add a hint of heat to grilled veggies, salad dressings, and top home-baked bread. We have found this is also a nice light garnish on stuffed rice ball ‘onigiri,’ the requisite Asian beach party snack, or seasoned and grilled tofu!

Tuscan Style Seasoning
A twist on the popular Italian Herb seasonings, this one has a hint of parsley. It can amp up pasta sauces, soup, baked or grilled chicken and seafood.

Everything Spice Seasoning
It really does have ‘everything’! It’s a perfect all-around seasoning for just about everything! Sesame seeds for crunch, garlic for punch, and pepper flakes for a pinch of heat, all made more pronounced with added salt. This one is a fave among our staff to top off their morning avo toast and scrambled eggs.

Rainbow Peppercorn
A combination of pink, green, white, and black peppercorns. Did you know black pepper can increase the bioavailability of nutrients in foods?

Himalayan Pink Salt
Pink salt is all the rage with its clean flavor and pretty pink hue! Use it to finish dishes and bring out the flavor of the whole dish. Also, it is tasty in small quantities on top of chocolate! What makes the salt pink? A bit of naturally occurring trace minerals, which also flavor your dish!

Image of Dried Roasted Sweet Corn
Dried Roasted Sweet Corn
When you don’t want popcorn but still want that corn snack, try Melissa’s Dry Roasted Sweet Corn. A naturally sweet, light, crunchy corn snack to nibble on, add to a homemade trail mix, or the perfect camping ingredient added to camp chili, stew, or campfire corn pudding! It is also a fun addition to fresh green salads, grazing boards, and savory crème bruleé. Bet ya can’t eat just one handful!!

Shelf-stable, Dried Roasted Sweet Corn is best stored in a jar or air-tight bag in the pantry.

Image of Hatch Avocado and Taqueria Salsa
Fresh Hatch Avocado and Taqueria Salsa
Fresh made and full of flavor, Melissa’s Hatch Avocado and Taqueria Salsa are must-haves for spring and summer get-togethers. The sauces are the perfect match for drizzling over breakfast burritos, grilled proteins, a dip for tortilla chips, or topping tacos and tostadas. Get creative and use Avocado Salsa to lightly dress tomato ‘burrata’ salads, freshly cut mango, or add a bit of zing to freshly made hot rice. Melissa’s Taqueria Salsa has a bit of a kick and is perfect for marinating animal proteins, waking up beans or chili, and as an accompaniment to breakfast egg casseroles.

Both salsas should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 5 days of opening. Do not freeze.

Image of Champagne Grapes
Champagne Grapes
June is the beginning of California Grape Season, and there is no grape variety more fun than Melissa’s Champagne Grapes! Known as the Zantes or Black Corinth variety, champagnes are generally purple, sometimes with a red cast, and are different in size and shape from their cousins in overall appearance. About the size of peas or small champagne bubbles, the grape ‘berries’ form long, tight clusters- not loose- on a strand, making them less likely to shatter or fall off the stem and more fun to eat! Simply cut off a portion of the strand, place the grapes in your mouth holding the stem and pull off the berries with your teeth. The very small stems are edible, if you wish. This small grape adds a quick burst of sweet flavor to rice salads, pan sauces, sorbets, cheese platters, or tuna and chicken salad. Fun in ambrosia salad! Did you know dried currants, not to be confused with fresh currant berries, are actually dried champagne grapes? Here is a little bit of fun trivia about champagne grapes: They are used to retrain the eating process for certain species of birds! So, the next time you pick up a package of Melissa’s Champagne Grapes, wash them off, pat them dry, and try to peck at them, one berry at a time! Select grapes that appear plump, with no wrinkles, spoiled or molded berries. They may be left at room temperature, unwashed for one day, but best kept refrigerated. To wash grapes, place them in a large bowl deep enough to cover them with cool water. Gently swish the grapes, allowing water to rinse off any natural bloom and debris. Rinse again over running water; pat dry. It may be served at room temperature or chilled.
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