Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mystery Melon

The plant of the day for Fructidor 7 is the sugar melon or sucrion. It seems like it should be easy to figure out exactly what that is but all I learned from an hour of Internet searching was that the “sugar melon” is the name for a variety of cantaloupe. Then I found this fantastic web site (the true glory of the Internet) which lists names in every language for members of the melon family:

If I read this correctly, then the sucrion is a honeydew or a Crenshaw melon. So I went to the local high-class grocery store on my lunch break and found a plethora of melons: the usual honeydews, cantaloupes and watermelons plus Crenshaws and Canaris. I bought a nice 7 pound Crenshaw. It was ripe, based on the smell, the most accurate way to assess the ripeness of a melon according to my research. (I hold the stem portion up to my nose and sniff.) I would have done a taste test on several different melons but they were too heavy to carry back to work along with cupcakes for a co-worker’s birthday. The Crenshaw was interesting in flavor. More watery than a cantaloupe, and lighter in color too, but with a more cantaloupe-like flavor than a honeydew.

That reminded me of an article in Martha Stewart’s magazine on heritage melons. I went looking for it online at her web site and found this easy recipe for melon sorbet:
Plus this interesting recipe for mix and match melon soup (warning: which comes with an annoying ad complete with music):

I also found a link to Amy Goldman, who has a web site featuring heirloom melons
and a book about heirloom melons:

I’m still not sure which melon is a sucrion but this search has certainly opened my eyes (and my taste buds) to new possibilities.

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