This grapefruit-sized fruit actually grows on a climbing cactus. Its spongy pulp is white or sometimes pinkish red, sweet and juicy with numerous tiny edible black seeds scattered throughout
Chi gu is also known as Chinese Arrowhead and cigu, it is botanically classified as Sagittaria sagittifolia -
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The Tigger melon is available in the summer months.
A member of the Cucurbitaceae family, the Tigger melon, is of the species Cucumis melo and is an heirloom variety muskmelon. The Tigger melon has not experienced the same hybridization and commercialization as many other netted melons and watermelons have. As a result it has had little exposure to the commercial market and is considered today to be a farmers market specialty melon.
A petite heirloom melon, the Tigger's smooth rind has vertical variegations of rust orange and yellow. The melon's creamy, off-white flesh is juicy and sweet with a flavor that has been compared to that of Asian pear and cantaloupe. Like most muskmelon types it offers a highly aromatic scent and has been known to perfume the entire room they are in when at their peak of ripeness. Tigger melons will grow to be approximately the size of a softball and weigh a modest one pound when fully mature.
The Tigger melon is often described as a personal melon as a result of its petite size, which makes it ideal halved and served as a one or two serving melon. Stuff melon halves with yogurt, cheese or other chopped fruit and nuts as a breakfast or dessert. The exceptionally sweet flesh pairs well with salted meats and robust cheeses which will round out its flavor profile. Tigger melon can be pureed and used as a sweet base in cocktails, sorbets and sauces. Tigger melons will keep at room temperature until ripe then in the refrigerator for up to one week. Once cut, melon should be kept refrigerated in a sealed container to prevent it from absorbing the flavor of other items it is stored with.
The Tigger melon was originally discovered in ancient western Armenia near the Tigris River. Like most melon varieties it prefers the warm to hot growing days of summer in temperate and Mediterranean regions. Growing on climbing vines the petite size of the Tigger melon makes it ideal for trellising allowing it to be grown in relatively small spaces. A productive grower, Tigger melon vines can yield up to twenty melons per vine.
Recipes that include Tigger Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Dirty Laundry Kitchen||Melon Salad with Grilled Halloumi|
|David Lebovitz||Frozen Melon Margaritas|