13 Jan2007

Golden Honeydew

by Marketman

melon1

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 melon2local 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 “ruined,” 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 within…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 don’t do too well in wickedly hot countries, but I could be dead wrong). I picked up this “Golden Honeydew” 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 ‘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 melon…

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. melon3These 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 sign…sigh, too bad the melon didn’t fully deliver!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. fried-neurons says:

    Wow! That melon look stunning! Too bad it wasn’t as flavorful as it was beautiful…

    Jan 14, 2007 | 12:44 am

     
  2. petitefleur says:

    I miss your site, MM! It has been a while since I last read blog sites again. Trying to be not connected to the net that much but I guess my love for food – cooking and baking just keeps me pulling back to your site and the rest of food blogs. ;-)

    The fly looks cute on the stunning melon! Hahaha! J/k. Your pictures are great. Does the skin look smooth as it shows in the pic?

    Jan 14, 2007 | 2:24 am

     
  3. Maria Clara says:

    Italian provenance melons are to die for. Their rind stands out from the rest of the other melons very heavy and when you pick up one and sniff it the aroma is intoxicating and invigorating. I would imagine that’s how Italians incorporate them in their prosciutto to set off some of their sweetness. I agree with you once you have a bad tasting melon it will forever linger in your mouth. Melons usually signal summer is around the corner and very inviting to flies. My wishful thought that one day our government will build refrigerated storage to motivate our farmers to cultivate t heir lands and bring good harvests to the market. When they have bumper crops a lot of them are wasted due to improper storage and lack of transportation!

    Jan 14, 2007 | 4:09 am

     
  4. Kieran says:

    I totally agree. A good melon, is well, good. However, a Cavaillon melon is unforgettable! The aroma alone is just intoxicating.

    My wife and I love melons. We love it sliced frozen, served with thin strips of Parmesan cheese and Parma ham, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Then topped with fresh basil and cracked black pepper. Serve it with chilled Prosecco and you are in heaven!

    Jan 14, 2007 | 6:38 am

     
  5. sister says:

    A melon has to be ripe before picking, a hard one only softens on your counter top, it does not get any sweeter. When you have farmers who have good soil and are willing to pick them ripe then you are going to get a good melon. I’ve never had a good one in Manila.

    Jan 20, 2007 | 4:15 am

     
 

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