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MELONS

There are several types of melon but they are broadly grouped into three categories based on their firmness and colour. Musk or netted melons (network pattern on the skin): These melons have yellowish green colour flesh. Winter melons (smooth skinned): The flesh of winter melons is greenish in tinge and the best-known types are Casaba and Honeydew. Cantaloupe melons: The flesh of the cantaloupe is orange coloured. A new melon in this category is the Ogen, which has greenish flesh.

Facts and history: Melons are widely available and grown in many parts of the world. In ancient Egypt, watermelons were traditionally offered to thirsty travellers, and they are still important today in times of drought or water pollution. Aromatic melon varieties were appreciated from early times in the Middle East. Melons are related to cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, and gourds, growing as they all do on long trailing vines. Usage: Melon is eaten in its natural state either at the beginning of a meal as a hors doeuvre or at the end as a dessert. It should be served chilled and is often seasoned with ginger. Larger melons are sliced in serving-size portions and smaller melons are typically cut in half and the pulp and seeds are scooped out before serving. Depending on their size, melons can be served in their skins, halved or cut in wedges, or peeled for used in salads or appetizers. The flesh can also be cut into cubes or scooped into balls with a melon-baller. Types of Melon: Watermelon: This large melon has water content of up to 95 percent and is a popular summer treat. It is eaten sliced or cut into fruit salad or enjoyed in the form of a juice. It wears a green rind (some varieties have pale green stripes), with red or pink flesh, and can be found in a round, oval, or oblong shape, with seeds and seedless. Cantaloupe: Known as Charentais in France, cantaloupes have orange flesh and a distinctive taupe, rough-surfaced rind, sometimes with green stripes. Muskmelon: Muskmelons are round, with orange flesh and beige netted skin. Several hybrid varieties exist that combine desirable characteristics of the muskmelon and cantaloupe. Honeydew: These melons have a smooth, pale-green to creamy yellow skin with sweet, pale-green flesh. Casaba: Casabas are round or oval melons with yellow or orange skin that is green at the ends. The flesh is creamy white. Ogen: This is a small round hybrid melon. It usually has green to yellow skin with juicy pink or light green flesh. The book of Ingredients: Pages 110-112 and 252