Melons

 Melons Key facts Melons are sweet and delicious - often sprinkled with ground ginger to serve. When buying a melon, gently press the base near where it was joined to the stalk. If it yields it is ripe - aroma is another clue.

Season: Best from June to September One of the glories of the summer markets in sunnier latitudes is piles of ripe melons emitting a positive aura of fragrance. These generally are small but powerful representatives of the Cantaloupe kind, the most prized of all being the French Charentais, which has a turquoise green skin and dense, perfumed orange flesh. This is a thoroughly grown-up kind of melon, with a much more sophisticated flavour than the crunchy, juicy watermelon – the latter is nature's ice lolly and perfect to eat on a beach.

Cantaloupe melons, which are very familiar in Britain, have yellow skins, green flesh and a taste that is pleasant but not dramatic (people used to quite literally ginger them up with a sprinkling of powdered ginger). Galia and Ogen originate in Israel; a good Galia is almost in the same league as a Charentais.

 
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