Spoil yourself with sweet & juicy local heirloom melons
Right now is the peak of melon season, so for the next few weeks we’ll be spoiled with some of the most unbelievably sweet, juicy and refreshing locally-grown rare heirloom melons. Each summer I am shocked by the intense flavors and aromas of the specialty melons available to us from local farmers, such as Phil Foster’s Pinnacle Farms in Hollister.
Melons are the perfect antidote for high temperatures. Melons help keep body temperatures lower than other foods that take longer to digest. As they’re made up almost entirely of water, they help keep the body cooler from the start; they’re filling and refreshing without being heavy on calories either. Melons are full of electrolytes, minerals and vitamins which help sustain one’s body in hot weather.
(Pictured: Phil Foster in one of the fields at his Pinnacle Farms ranch in Hollister.)
A little history: Wild ancestors of melons are said to be native to the region stretching from Egypt to Iran, and are believed to have originated in Persia. Through history they’ve been eaten as food and used for medicinal purposes, and in ancient times, people used melons and other watery fruits as their main source of water.
The revival of heirlooms, especially melons, has been a gift to us that we can now enjoy these very perishable gems. We always encourage our customers to support local farmers who grow pieces of the past. Following are details about some of the heirloom melons we carry – of course, there are more varieties in our stores!
The Crane melon is a hybrid product of several melons, including a Japanese melon, a Persian melon and an ambrosia melon. Crane melons averages 4-7 lbs., are round like a soccer balls, and have a very aromatic light orange flesh that’s sweet and juicy.
French Charentais melons have smooth gray-green rinds and a very fragrant, orange flesh: a ripened Charentais gives off a refreshing, delicious aroma. Most are grown around Cavaillon, France, and are sometimes sold under this name.
The Haogen melon is a Hungarian heirloom that is characterized by its ribbed, dark green and orange-brown skin, with spicy-sweet green flesh that’s smooth and cool, juicy but clean. Grandpa Sigona grows a mean Haogen melon!
As we said above, melons are the perfect antidote for high temperatures, not only because they require little to no work at all, so grab a few and hit the beach. We suggest a lovely white-sand beach in Carmel.