Monday, September 27, 2010

Mystery Produce of the Week: Casaba Melon

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Well, I sorta gave that one away, didn't I?

I don't claim to be an expert on anything other than my own neurosis, but I do have some experience living in different climates and enjoying various fruits and vegetables that those locales had to offer. It's pretty uncommon to see something in a supermarket that I haven't eaten at some point or another. So when I saw this monster of a melon at Milk Pail, I dropped the watermelon that I had (gently into the bin, not on the floor; I have manners) and impulsively started to gravitate towards this mystery fruit. For $1.75, I had to try this big ugly fruit.

I had no idea if it's sweet or savory. When VB saw this thing in the fridge, he asked, "Is this a 'melon' or a 'squash' that Chinese people like to call 'melon'?" I said, "Of course it's a 'melon' melon!" Actually, I was bluffing -- I didn't know what that was.

It turns out, casaba melon has creamy white flesh and really delicate melon flavor -- like a mellower cantaloupe. But it is not less sweet than some of the other melon varieties. The flesh is juicy and has a very tender and delicate texture. Mine also had very few seeds and was easy to clean out.  The exterior looked rather tough and leathery. I was prepared to sacrifice a knife or two just to break this open. But it actually yielded really easily when ripe.

I tried something new. And it was delicious!


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