“Japanese” Cantaloupe


It’s the height of melon season, the heat shrivels up the vines and the fruit sucks up as much moisture as it can manage and its sugars develop just before the plant dies of heat exhaustion… The success with a “Japanese Green Melon” I bought last week made me shell out PHP150 for this “Japanese” cantaloupe variety from one of my favorite provedores in the the city, Fresh Fields at Market!Market! It certainly looked terrific with a uniform webbing on an unblemished outer skin that was an appealing pale tan color with an undertone of orange. It still had part of its stem attached and the freshness of that indicated that it had just been picked…

I let it sit on the kitchen counter for two days to develop a bit more juiciness then chilled it thoroughly before cutting myself a generous slice. Perfect. cant2It was absolutely delicious. It had just the right density, flavor and sweetness. The thin line of green near the skin was clear and fresh looking. This was a really good melon. Perfect as a dessert or breakfast item, it went superbly well with thinly sliced prosciutto or an even saltier and drier Jamon Serrano. It was pricey at say PHP100-120 a kilo but considering how good it tasted, I thought it was fair value. I hate buying lots of melons at a cheaper price only to find out only 1 out of 4 is edible.

I wonder how consistent cant3the crop of this variety will be but I was thrilled to find a great melon in the middle of the city. There is hope for fresh produce as long as provedores and farmers continue to experiment and bring new crops to market and buyers such as us take a risk and buy and consume these attempts to diversify our fruits and vegetables!


4 Responses

  1. That melon looks great! As a child in Manila, I hated melons. I even hated melon “juice” (aka grated melon, ice water, and sugar). But I grew to love them when we moved here to the USA. Maybe it’s because my family generally got inferior-quality melons back home. It’s great to know that the variety and quality of produce over there are both increasing.

  2. marketman, refresh my memory please, is this any different in *appearance* from pinoy melon? while i have bought different melons here in the US, i always thought our melons looked just like this, but then i haven’t seen one in years.

  3. melon is perfect for this sizzling summer, whether pinoy, japanese or whatever. and wrapping it in prosciutto is heavenly. i saw giada do that on her cooking show and it was luscious. the melon, i mean.

    btw,MM…just got back from bohol and acting on your previous post, had a great experience at MR Seafoods. we had the kinilaw na malasugui, kinilaw na pusit, a couple of crabs, inihaw na baboy (served already in vinegar with onions), chicharon bulaklak, an order of shrimps, two big bowls of rice and soft drinks. we were 4 very satisfied customers and we paid only P826 pesos for the whole feast! well, the shrimps were a bit overcooked, but everything else was great.

    btw, i always knew torta to be some sort of pastry so i was surprised when i saw a recipe of yours that had a meat filling called “torta boholana”. i asked around in bohol, and no one seemed to know of that particular version. where is it from? even in leyte i encountered torta, the pastry.

    i am intrigued!

  4. Choy, “torta” means different things in different places. Literally, in Spanish, it means torte or cake. It seems they’ve retained that meaning in the South, like in Cebu where there’s a torta that looks like a more buttery version of mamon. But in Tagalog, it’s sort of like a frittata: eggs mixed with various ingredients, most commonly ground meat with potatoes, or eggplant (tortang talong), then fried. On the other hand, the Spanish version of frittata is called “tortilla” while in Mexico “tortilla” is a flat bread. My guess is the etymology is from the fact that these are all, in a way, cakes or patties. In the same way we say “crab cake” for something that’s certainly not a pastry. MM, is this correct? :-)

    A bit off topic: has anyone here tried Aristocrat’s Torta de los Reyes (Cake of Kings/Cake of the Reyeses)? Unlike most Pinoys, I’m no fan of their regular food; however, I love their cakes, especially their many and varied takes on Sans Rival. The Torta de los Reyes is a divine butter & chocolate Sans Rival with a checkered interior — a treat for both the eyes and mouth! (And no, I’m not related to the Aristocrat de los Reyeses either. ;-))



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