What is a casaba melon?

Casaba Melon

See also: Article on Melons

CASABA – Unlike the other melons, casaba melons do not have an aroma. This is a large melon that is pale yellow when ripe and has white flesh with a sweet taste. This melon peaks in the fall, but starts showing up in markets in July through December.
STORAGE – Keep uncut melons at room temperature for two to four days or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Refrigerate cut up melon in a covered container up to 3 days. Remember that cut melons are aromatic and their smell will penetrate other foods.
PREPARATION – Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.
CDC.gov – 5 a Day

What Is A Casaba Melon – How To Grow Casaba Melons

Casaba melon (Cucumis melo var inodorus) is a tasty melon related to honeydew and cantaloupe but with a flavor that is not as sweet. It is still sweet enough to eat, but it has a slight spiciness. Successfully growing a casaba melon vine in the home garden requires a little knowledge about care and harvesting but is generally easy and similar to growing other melons.

What is a Casaba Melon?

Like other melons, casaba belongs to the species known as Cucumis melo. There are varietal subdivisions of C. melo, and casaba and honeydew both belong to the winter melon group. Casaba melons are neither smooth like honeydew, nor netted like cantaloupe. The skin is rough and deeply ridged.

There are several varieties of casaba, but a common one grown and seen in supermarkets in the U.S. is ‘Golden Beauty.’ This varietal is green, turning to bright yellow when ripe, with a pointed stem end that gives it an acorn shape. It has a white flesh and a thick, tough rind that makes it a good choice of melon for winter storage.

How to Grow Casaba Melons

Casaba melon care is much like that for other melon types. It grows on a vine and thrives in warm weather. Dry, hot climates are best for growing casaba, as the leaves are susceptible to disease triggered by wet, warm conditions. It can still be grown in humid regions and in climates with cold winters, but precautions need to be taken against cold temperatures and wet conditions.

You can sow seeds directly outdoors once soil is up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) or start them indoors to get a head start on a shorter growing season. Thin out plants in beds, or place transplants, so that they are spaced 18 inches (45 cm.) apart. Make sure the soil is light and drains well.

Regular watering for casaba melon is important, but so too is avoiding wet conditions. Black plastic mulch is useful, as it keeps moisture in the soil but protects the plant from rot and disease.

Casaba harvesting is a little different from other melons. They don’t slip when ripe, meaning they do not detach from the vine. To harvest, you need to cut the stem when they are close to maturity. The melons can then be stored and when the blossom end is soft, it is ready to eat.

Food Storage – How long can you keep…

Tips

  • How long does casaba melon last? The precise answer to that question depends to a large extent on storage conditions – after purchasing, keep casaba melon in a cool, dry area.
  • How long does casaba melon last at room temperature? Casaba melon will generally keep well at room temperature for about 2 to 4 days.
  • To extend the shelf life of casaba melon, refrigerate.
  • How long does casaba melon last in the fridge? Properly stored, casaba melon will usually keep well for about 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
  • Can you freeze casaba melon? Yes, to freeze: (1) Cut casaba melon melon in half and remove seeds and rind; (2) Slice or cube melon, or cut into balls; (3) Place in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
  • How long does casaba melon last in the freezer? Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 10 to 12 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.
  • The freezer time shown is for best quality only – casaba melon that has been kept constantly frozen at 0°F will keep safe indefinitely.
  • How to tell if casaba melon is bad or spoiled? The best way is to smell and look at the casaba melon: if casaba melon develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, it should be discarded; if mold appears, discard all of the casaba melon.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please

Produce Encyclopedia

We are all familiar with the standard varieties of melons-Cantaloupes, Honeydew and Watermelon. They are grown in many parts of the world and are available year round. Melons are native to the region stretching from Egypt to India. In ancient Egypt, Watermelons were traditionally offered to thirsty travelers and are still important today for their high water content. Aromatic melon varieties are prized for their flavor and perfume and are rich in vitamin A and C and provide dietary fiber. Melons are related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash, growing as they do on long, trailing vines. During the Spring and Summer months, several seasonal varieties become available to us and we offer a mixed case of Specialty Melons. These Melons are grown in both Arizona and California from April to October with peak season in July. Melons should be heavy in weight, an indication of freshness. Avoid melons with soft skin or blemishes on the skin. To store, keep melons at room temperature for two to three days. Refrigerate ripe or cut melons up to three days. Remove from the walk-in about one-half hour before serving for best flavor.

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