What is a canary melon?

It’s difficult to miss the eye-catching, canary-colored melon.

The cheerful rind sets it apart from other melons: smooth and pale honeydews, rough and beige cantaloupes, highly recognizable watermelons with their signature green markings.

Of course, those are all more common.

I’m not quite sure I had come across a canary melon until a recent trip to the Night Market at Kendall Yards, where I spotted a bin of the brightly colored beauties for $3 each at the Elithorp Farm stand and asked about what they were like on the inside.

Cut through the yellow skin of a canary melon, and the flesh is ivory, like that of a pear.

“Tastes like a cantaloupe,” the farmer told me.

“I’ll take one,” I said.

I went for a rounder melon. After a couple of days on the counter top, the skin took on a slightly corrugated texture.

Canary melons are known not only for their sunny appearance but long post-harvest shelf-life. I didn’t really put that to the test, though. My canary melon brightened up my kitchen just long enough for me to make a prosciutto run.

The classic combination of melon and prosciutto is one of my favorites, linked forever to the sun-soaked memory of enjoying the dish more than 10 years ago at an outdoor café in Sorrento on Italy’s Amalfi coast. There, the salad had just two ingredients: cantaloupe and cured ham. It was plain and simple, sweet and salty, a perfect light appetizer to end a day spent diving off of rocks into the Bay of Naples.

In the years since, I’ve made other versions – dressing the dish with a balsamic reduction, mint or chiffonated basil leaves, freshly cracked pepper, a squeeze of lime or lemon. I’ve added cheese – gorgonzola, cambozola, mini balls of fresh mozzarella – and made a full meal of it by using arugula, figs, pistachios or pine nuts, roasted bell peppers, and nectarines or peaches.

I’ve used a variety of melons, too: Charentais, honeydew, galia and snow leopard, which – like a canary melon – has a snowy interior.

But the pocket that holds seeds in the middle of a canary melon is a pretty peach color, reminiscent of cantaloupe. The flavor is too, but it’s milder – gently sweet with a slight musk and hint of pineapple.

Look for fruit that’s firm, with no soft spots nor blemishes. Use it the way you would other melons: on a fruit tray, in a salad, drizzled with honey, pureed in a smoothie or gazpacho, granita, sorbet or ice pop.

I enjoyed mine with fresh herbs and freshly cracked pepper, still another variation on that classic melon-and-prosciutto pairing.

Canary Melon with Prosciutto and Thyme

1 medium canary melon

4- or 5-ounces prosciutto

2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or more to taste

Freshly cracked pepper

Cut melon in half, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut each half into 8 to 10 slices. Cut off rind from each slice.

Cut each slice of prosciutto in half, and wrap each half around the middle of each slice of melon.

Arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and freshly cracked pepper, and serve.

How to Cut Melon the Quick & Easy Way

Knowing how to cut melon is a valuable skill to help you make the most of in-season produce and to facilitate a healthy diet. Here’s how to do it.

You see a great deal on cantaloupe and watermelon. You want to take advantage of it, but what in the world do you do with it when you get home. Sure, you can buy those plastic packs of pre-cut fruit, but let’s be real. Rarely does that fruit taste ripe and delicious.

And here in front of you is a fragrant melon just begging to be carted home.

Don’t fear the melon.

You can do this. Knowing how to cut melon, whether it’s a cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon, is a valuable skill to help you make the most of in-season produce and to facilitate a healthy diet. Melon is full of fiber and vitamins and can be a great way to hydrate, but it won’t do you any good if the fruit sits on the counter uneaten.

Never fear. This is easy.

Years ago I worked for my university’s catering company in their prep kitchen. I learned how to put together deli trays and fruit platters. And among other skills that I learned, they taught me how to cut a melon.

How to Cut a Melon the Quick & Easy Way

Perhaps you have a method that you like and are happy with. Great! If not, you might want to give this one a try.

But first, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

  • plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
  • Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
  • a rimmed baking sheet — This should be larger than the cutting board
  • spray bottle
  • white vinegar

1. Rinse the melon with water and vinegar.

Even though you aren’t going to eat the rind, you are going to cut through it, thereby possibly exposing the inner flesh to bacteria and other germs. I like to use white vinegar, a cheap cleaning agent, to kill surface bacteria.

I also like to cut a melon on a cutting board inside a rimmed baking sheet. In this way, the juices are collected in the tray and don’t stray all over the counter. This makes clean quick and easy.

2. Cut off the two ends and stand the melon on one end.

You want the melon to be stationary while you’re cutting, no wobbling about.

3. Remove the outer rind.

With a chef’s knife, cut away the rind, curving your cuts between the rind and flesh along the rounded shape of the melon.

Proceed around the sides of the melon until all the rind is removed. Don’t worry if the melon is no longer perfectly round. You won’t notice it later.

Sometimes little green bits of rind escape your larger cuts. Go around the melon, turning it upside down if needed, to slice off these green sections.

4. Slice the melon through the center lengthwise.

Once you’ve got all the rind removed, cut through the center lengthwise, from flat end to flat end.

5. Gently scoop out the seeds and inner membranes.

No one I know eats melon seeds and its pulpy inner membranes, so remove this with a spoon. This is where the rimmed tray again comes in handy, to contain all the juicy stuff you’ll be discarding.

Clean out the inner well smoothly, removing any stray seeds.

6. Cut the melon into slices or cubes.

Place each half, cut-side down on the cutting board and slice into thin, even slices crosswise. You can fan these slices out on a platter with other fruit if you prefer.

You can also cut the melon into wedges, like this:

And you can cut the wedges into cubes, like this:

You can cut other melons this way, such as the watermelon. In that case, there won’t be any insides to scoop out. Just trim off the rind and cut the melon flesh into slices or cubes.

Knowing how to cut melon is a simple, easy task that can pay off big dividends. Not only can you take advantage of great in-season specials, but you can also serve all kinds of melon in pretty presentations.

Canary Melon: The Aromatic Choice for Summer

Come summer time the refreshing flesh of ripe and juciy melon comes into its own. But with so many varieties of melon out there, aside from passing the melon test and settling for the tried and tested watermelon or canteloupe, have you tried the fragrant and versatile Canary Melon?

What is Canary Melon?

With its signature bright yellow rind and rugby ball shape, canary melons are easy to identify. Slice into into the waxy rind and you’ll find a pale green sweet flesh that’s firm and almost crisp with a little more tang than a honeydew.

It’s commonly grown in the USA and South America.

How to Cook with Canary Melon?

Thanks to the mellow sweetness and light tartness of the canary melon it’s ideal for mixing into sweet both and savoury dishes.

Ideal for pairing with citrus, ginger, honey or spices like vanilla, star anise, cloves, cardamon or even herbs like basil, mint and cilantro and hot chillies or nuts.

Try throwing it into cold soups or salads or blending the melon for granitas, sorbets and popsicles or even making it into a jam to supplement your desserts.

For a refreshing summer drink you can even try making a summer punch of white wine with canary melon and a lemon kick:

Canary Melon Lemon Cilantro Salad is a fresh summer treat that allows the melon’s sweet yet succulent flavor shine through. The tart of the lemon and fresh cilantro brings this fruit salad to the top of our side dish choices for bbq, Mexican food, and simple lunches. It is simply delicious.

Canary Melon Lemon Cilantro Salad

When it comes to salad, fresh is best! Summer is the best time to really try a few new fruits and vegetables and salads are the best medium. I have always wondered by the Canary melon and thought, wow, I wonder what it tastes like?

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Well, I finally bought one to cut up and taste and it was just amazing! I could not wait to see what flavors would work well with the Canary melon. Its flesh is super juicy and honey sweat.

My lemon tree had some early birds ready to pick so I thought, hmm. Lemon would be good. A few more ingredients and was sitting down eating an amazing salad of Canary Melon, and Watermelon with a hint of lemon, a generous handful of cilantro and coarse sea salt.

(Coarse sea salt is amazing on any kind of melon or stone fruit. It really brings out the flavor)

Tips About Canary Melon

What does it look like?

Canary melons are oval-shaped and have a bright yellow hard rind. The flesh is a pale ivory color. The seeds are very similar to cantaloupe and honeydew. You can just scoop them out with a spoon.

What does it taste like?

It tastes similar to honeydew melons but sweeter. It is one of the sweetest melon you can buy in the summer. Just delicious.

This melon salad is so light and refreshing you will love adding it to your summer recipe list.

What do you think about this recipe? Have questions? Comment below! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest

If you love salad, try this amazing recipe.

Cranberry Sunshine Citrus Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Canary Melon Lemon Cilantro Salad

Canary Melon Lemon Cilantro Salad is sweet and refrsihing the perfect summer melon salad.

  • Author: Pam List
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Scale 1x2x3x

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Canary melon cubed
  • 2 cups watermelon cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of a half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add Canary melon and watermelon cubes to bowl
  2. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro.
  3. Sprinkle with salt

Notes

I enjoy using a great Kosher salt, himlayan Flakes or other more substantial variety.

The canary melon is very juicy, it may need to set and drain for a bit after cubing.

Keywords: Canary Melon, Melon Salad, Melon Cilantro Salad, Melon and Lemon

Here is a run down of the melons we are growing this season… Several of these specialty melons will only be available to our Farm store and Farmers market customers on a limited basis.

Yellow Honeydew Melons

Yellow honeydew melons have yellow /gold skin and green flesh, and have less sugar than the white honeydew making them ideal for savoury cooking.

Honey Dew Melons will not ripen further after picking, and should be stored at room temperature until cut – then covered and stored in the fridge.

Honeydew melons are a good source of vitamin C, B6, Folate and potassium.

Store honeydew melons in the fridge and they will last 3 to 4 days longer. Cover the cut surfaces of the melons to prevent them drying out or deteriorating.

Honeydew melons are great in salads, desserts and there are many recipes available online to inspire you.

White Honeydew Melons

White honeydew melons are the sweeter variety and have smooth white skin with a pale to medium green coloured sweet flesh. In Australia they are available all year round.

Honey Dew Melons will not ripen further after picking, and should be stored at room temperature until cut – then covered and stored in the fridge.

Honeydew melons are a good source of vitamin C, B6, Folate and potassium.

Snow Leopard Melons

Snow leopard melons have such a pretty and unusual variegated exterior, but for all their showy green on creamy white patterns, they are, simply, a delicious petite honeydew variety. They’re sweet but the white flesh has a firmer texture than a regular green-flesh honeydew. I think they’re lovely eaten simply with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, wrapped with prosciutto, or on a fruit salad skewer.

Escorial‘ Charentais

The sweetest French melon: Unsurpassed eating quality. The small, 2 lb. melons are of the classic Charentais type: faintly ribbed, with a smooth gray-green rind and dark green sutures. Sweet and aromatic, deep orange flesh.

Arava Galia

The Arava melon is the name of a variety of Galia melons. Other common marketing names are Middle Eastern melon, Passport, Mediterranean or Israeli melons. Galia melons are a hybrid melon and member of the Cucurbitaceae family, a wide ranging important food plant family of traveling vines, including cucumbers, pumpkins and squashes.

Arava melons are distinguished by their textured thin netted pale cornflower gold rind and their high sugar content. The pale glacial green flesh is perfumed with tropical fruit and floral aromatics, its texture tender firm and extremely juicy. When perfectly ripe the fruit’s flesh produces juice with a nectarous consistency which contributes to its sweet tropical flavors. The fruit bears a small loose central seed cavity. The average weight of the melons are two to four pounds. Arava melons will continue to ripen when removed from the plant and because of their intense aromatics, will permeate neighboring foods.

Galia ‘Diplomat’

Diplomat is an excellent flavoured Galia melon with sweet aromatic green flesh. Galia melons are much more juicy and flavoursome than honeydews. Galia melons are ripe when the skin becomes yellowish and the fruit gives off an aromatic fragrance.

San Juan Canary

The Canary melon is a non-netted Casaba type variety also known as Spanish melon, Juan Canary, Jaune des Canaries and Amarillo.

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.

Canary melon

a large, bright-yellow melon with a pale green to white inner flesh. This melon has a distinctively sweet flavor that is slightly tangier than a honeydew melon. The flesh looks like that of a pear but is softer and tastes a little like a cantaloupe. When ripe, the rind has a slightly waxy feel. The name comes from its bright yellow color, which resembles that of the canary. This melon is often marketed as the Juan Canary melon or “variety melons

Asian ‘Sun Jewel’

Sun Jewel is a Korean bred melon producing long, oblong, yellow skinned fruits which have a sweet, crisp, white flesh.

Lemon yellow with shallow white sutures, the Sun Jewels (Cucumis melo)

look a bit like delicata squash. This is not surprising, as melons are

closely related to the squash family. In taste, the Sun Jewel falls

into its own category, tasting neither like neither cantaloupe nor

musk, but has its own sweet and subtle flavor.

The Sun Jewel’s delicate flavor brings up many definitions.

“I normally describe them as an Asian melon, because while they get sweeter with time they stay crisp like

an Asian pear (vs. a regular pear). “As the Sun Jewels age

the rind will split on the outside, ideal time to eat them is when

there are numerous small splits down the rind.” That being said you needn’t wait – they are delicious now.

This melon is rich in Vitamin C & A, so enjoy

this healthy, flavorful treat at breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Cut up Sun Jewels into a fruit salad or try a tropical melon soup by

puréeing one with coconut milk.

Wrangler/ Tuscan

A truly flavorful Cantaloupe is quite special for those of us who are Melon Lovers. The fruit is simply impressive! The firm, yet smoothly textured flesh was juicy and exquisitely sweet. That rich flavor will make you want to eat more and more.

Tuscan-style Cantaloupes can be identified by their deep, green colored ribs between straw colored netted skin. The rind of this melon variety is thin and the seed cavity is tight – giving you lots of melon flesh for the money. These are not cheapest Cantaloupes, but are some of the best for snacking, salads, desserts and appetizers. The fruit will be sweet and ready to cut as soon as you buy it, but you can condition it to your liking.

Here are the stages of ripening for Tuscan-style Cantaloupes:

  • Dark green ribs = sweet.
  • Light green ribs = very sweet.
  • Straw colored webbing + fragrant aroma + almost no green ribs = Full-flavor, extra juicy sweetness.

Lilly Crenshaw Melon

A Crenshaw melon is a hybrid melon with very sweet, juicy orange flesh. Crenshaws are among the sweetest of melons. When ripe, Crenshaw melons are roughly ovoid, with a greenish-yellow, slightly ribbed skin. Inside, the melons are a rich salmon pink, with a large seeded area in the center portion of the melon. Keep the melon under refrigeration for up to three days before using.

The melons were bred by crossing casaba melons with Persian melons, also sometimes called muskmelons. The favorable traits of both melon varieties successfully manifested in the cross breed, and it quickly became one of the more popular melons on the market. The melons can be eaten plain as a snack food, mixed in with fruit salads, or wrapped in prosciutto for a twist on the classic prosciutto wrapped melon appetizer. Crenshaw melon sorbet is also a great summer treat, and some people like to pickle slightly green Crenshaws to eat year-round.

ENJOY THE SEASON… Share with us what you like to do with these juicy bombs of flavor!

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