Charentais Melon

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

I know it says charentais melon up there at the top and that’s true; but what is also true is that this is a canteloupe — a real one. Not one of those impostor musk melons calling themselves canteloupes at the grocery store and farmer’s markets. I talked about this briefly a few weeks ago when I highlighted the ever so delicious french baby melon.

charentais-and-slice

You can see the two side by side here. Combined they are barely bigger than a spoon.

spoon-melons

And honestly, it doesn’t particularly matter if you call them by the wrong name, they are both delicious and worth seeking out. We all know I like to be “different” so of course, I’m going to go for the charentais more often than not, because HELLO – it’s green and legit. (Can anyone who grew up in the 90s really say the word “legit” without automatically using your best rapper voice and singing “too legit to quit!“? I didn’t think so.)

charentais-melon-slice

So whether you like the tried and true or the new old world, it’s melon time, which is very, very close to hammer time! (Good lord – where did all the MC Hammer references come from today? My apologies. It’s possible that it stems from the fact that I’m still wearing my pajamas, which are basically hammer pants. When, oh when will these come back in style?)

charentais-close-up

Charentais Melon

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★☆

Dusty, muted green smooth skin with faint ribbing. Bright orange flesh and yellow seeds. About the size of a squatty softball.

AROMA Rating: ★★★½☆

Clear, mild scent that strikes me as a very pure melon scent without the strong sweetness.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★☆

Juicy and dense with a slight graininess that I find appealing.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Mild cantaloupe flavor with a touch of something tart, almost lemony. Very fresh tasting. Not overly sweet.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I love eating this melon because it feels very old-world. Like I’m sitting at a farm table with my grandmother eating a melon we grew ourselves. None of this is something I’ve ever done, so eating this melon feels like a cool, happy fantasy. Something I am quick to do on a hot summer day.

FRUIT
Melon
PEAK
Summer
PROVIDED BY
Specialty Produce
VARIETY
Charentais
GROWN
Weiser Family Farm
California

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French Baby Melon

Posted on July 20th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to introduce one of the very best cantaloupe varieties I’ve ever had when I know for a fact it isn’t actually a cantaloupe. I could just tell you about the best musk melon I’ve had, but for most people that won’t mean anything. So let me just say that what we call cantaloupes here in the US are not cantaloupes at all, they are musk melons. Cantaloupes are somewhat different and rarely found in the US, though I have one coming up for review in a few days.

french-baby-melon

I will admit that the name musk melon isn’t particularly appealing, even though I tend to like musky smelling fruit (concord grapes for example). But I’m not sure why we didn’t just name it something completely different instead of stealing a different type of melon’s name. So odd. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because this one goes by its variety name, which is French Baby Melon. Perfect. Makes me want to snatch it up immediately and snuggle it to my chest. Or my nose. Or whatever. I may have been cooing to it early today after I took a bite. I never claimed I wasn’t weird.

french-baby-melon-slice

French Baby Melon

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★½☆

Oblong melon about 5 inches long with tan netted skin and pale orange flesh. Yellow seeds.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Sweet, rich and melony.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★★

Juicy, juicy, juicy with a nice soft dense texture that makes my spoon feel happy and successful at its job.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Sweet with layers of flavor and complexity and a nice mellow balance of acidity.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★½

This melon is delicious. This is what I want every single melon I pick up at the grocery store to taste like. JUST. LIKE. THIS. I want to eat it, drink it, slurp it, leave it dripping from my chin, etc.

OTHER NOTES

If you want to look at gorgeous photos of melons and learn about all different unique types (including lots of fun watermelons, real cantaloupes and musk melons), I highly recommend the book, Melons for the Passionate Grower by Amy Goldman although it’s out of print so even the used ones look to be +$60. Or you can just look through it online here.

FRUIT
Melon
PEAK
Summer
PROVIDED BY
Specialty Produce
VARIETY
French Baby
GROWN
Weiser Family Farm
California

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Seedless Concord Grapes

Posted on July 19th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

Do you know what the main problem is with seedless concord grapes?

concord-grapes

THE SEEDS!


seeds
Every single time I have purchased seedless concord grapes they have had seeds. Every time. It took me 45 minutes to de-seed these seedless grapes so I could make David Lebovitz’s concord grape pie using this to-die-for crust. And the process made my hand itchy. It was totally worth it though. OMG! PIE! Deep, musky, sweet grape pie. Must buy more.
seedless-concord-grapes
Grapes are in season right now, so get thee to the store.

Seedless Concord Grapes

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★☆

Little globes of dark purple black skin with a pale blue powder looking substance. Pale greenish flesh with bright green seeds.

AROMA Rating: ★★★½☆

Mildly sweet.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★☆

A dense jelly-like consistency somewhat like tapioca pearls in those bubble tea drinks. Thick skin and a few seeds.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Musky, complicated, deep, sweet grapey flavor with a touch of bitterness here and there from the skin.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Oh how I love these grapes. I was so delighted a few years ago when I first had these and could connect the flavor to grape juice for once. I always assumed that was some goofy artificial thing. Now if someone could just explain how we got the watermelon flavor in jolly ranchers, I would be all set. Is there a watermelon like that? YES PLEASE.

FRUIT
Grape
PEAK
Summer
PROVIDED BY
Specialty Produce
VARIETY
Seedless Concord
GROWN
California

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