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The Canary melon is oval-shaped, with a smooth skin. When the melon is ripe, its hard rind turns bright yellow, it develops a corrugated look and a slightly waxy feel and its flesh will be pale ivory in color. The texture of the flesh is notably succulent, almost wet and semi firm, similar to a ripe pear. Within the flesh, the fruit bears a dry salmon-orange seed cavity. The melon possesses flavors both tangy and mildly sweet. Its aromatics linger with nuances of banana and pineapple and a slightly musky finish. Ideal weight for best flavor are melons weighing four to five pounds. Only choose Canary melons which are bright yellow (no green coloring on the skin) as these signal that they are mature and ready to eat. Melons harvested before maturity are considered to be of inferior quality as they will never reach the same level of true ripeness off the vine.
Canary melons are available from spring time until fall with a peak season in summer.
The Canary melon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and of the species cucumis melo, cultivator inodorus. Melons such as the Canary in the Cucumis melo inodorus group are a variety of muskmelon that are known for their smooth skin and uniquely musk free, neutral aroma. Additionally melons in this grouping do not slip from the vine when ripe like other melons in the muskmelon group are known to do. Also known as Spanish melon, Juan Canary, Jaune des Canaries and Amarillo, the single greatest advantage Canary melons and others in the Cucumis melo inodorus group have over summer melon varieties is that they have a long post-vine shelf-life, allowing them to be stored longer and to be shipped to markets thousands of miles away.
Canary melon pairs well with citrus, ginger, honey and other more flavorful melons. Use Canary melon in fresh preparations such as cold soups and salads. The mellow sweetness and slight tart flavors are enhanced with herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro as well as hot chiles and nuts. You can also process the melon for granitas, sorbets and popsicles, though the addition of sugar may be required to enhance its flavor. To store, keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripe then refrigerate up to five days. Refrigerate cut melon in a covered container for up to three days.
The Canary melon's given name refers to the melon's color, not the Canary Islands, though it is clearly documented that the melons were in fact, cultivated there, as the island's fertile soil and dry arid climate contribute to perfect growing conditions. Its origins though are considered to be of Persian descent. The Canary melon is not the most recognized commercial melon variety, as it has many growing deficiencies. It is susceptible to mildew, sunburn and is inherently not disease resistant, thus often crops yield damaged fruit. Similar to other winter melons, its growing season is during the summer months preferably in warm arid climates. In the United States, Canary melons are grown primarily throughout the highly productive and diverse agricultural region of San Joaquin valley.
Recipes that include Canary Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Food Watch: On the Rind||Juan Canary Granita|
|Momtastic||Baby's Fresh Taste of Summer Puree|
|Shockingly Delicious||Melon Rosemary Sorbet|
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