Hope springs eternal for a decent melon in Manila. I have written about cantaloupes and green or honeydew melons before and almost always I am disappointed by the quality of local melons, with a few rare exceptions. And particularly if you have had a Cavaillon melon or Italian cantaloupe at some point in your life, you are basically â€œruined,â€ I think. Local melons tend to be juicy, sometimes even sweetish, but generally speaking overly watery and often devoid of melon flavor, most of the time. Perhaps the best use is indeed in sweetened cantaloupe juice with shreds of melon floating in it. Worse, often they taste earthy, literally, as in muddy. And not because you sliced it with a knife that cuts through a dirty skin and mars the flavor of the fruit withinâ€¦it just tastes like dirt. But every time I see a good looking melon I inevitably buy it, hoping for a tropical miracle (I am beginning to think these donâ€™t do too well in wickedly hot countries, but I could be dead wrong). I picked up this â€œGolden Honeydewâ€ at S&R Price the other day, and it was supplied by the fruit provedore, Frutesca, that also has a stall in Market!Market! and I think is related to the Flavours â€˜n Spices shop in the same mall. The fruit certainly looked terrific from the outside and it was very heavy for its size, typically a good sign for a melonâ€¦
Slicing into the melon yielded a pale flesh that was indeed juicy and relatively sweet. Not bad for a local melon. But again, it just lacked flavor. These are more akin to the dessert melons often served in Korea or Japan, but lacked distinction. At PHP89.95 a kilo and PHP139.42 for this particular melon, it was a bit pricey to boot (though no where near the astronomical prices you might pay for a melon in Tokyo or Seoul). I will enjoy this melon for breakfast or as a healthy dessert, but I am not likely to buy it that often. By the way, Frutesca does carry several imported and specialty fruits and are a good source if you are seeking more than just the ordinarily available fruits in the market. Their small stall at Market!Market! faces the foodcourt in the outdoor market area. Oh and I forgot, after I sliced the melon and took it outdoors for a photograph, a fly promptly landed on it (last photo), which I took to be a good signâ€¦sigh, too bad the melon didnâ€™t fully deliver!