Cultivated in hot, sunny regions, the top melon-producing countries are China, Turkey, Iran and the U.S. We can't think of a better ingredient to pick from the vine and close out the summer than this succulent treasure.
Relatives of the cucumber, summer melons include those with a raised cross-hatched pattern or netting on the rind. The Charentais variety is characterized by the green ribs on the rind. Its tender, apricot-orange interior and gorgeous fragrance, make it the perfect dessert melon. Muskmelon are known as cantaloupe in the U.S. Their pale orange flesh is juicy and sweet. The Galia is a honeydew-cantaloupe cross. Spherical and small, the creamy, light green flesh is spicy-sweet. The Ambrosia is a hybrid muskmelon with a highly-perfumed scent, best enjoyed fresh. The popular Spanish variety, Piel de Sapo, has a rough, dark green exterior and crisp flesh and pairs well with salty, smoked meats. And we'd be remiss to exclude the watermelon, the largest of the melons. Barrel-shaped with bright, pink flesh, which can also be yellow or white.
When selecting whole, unsliced melons, tap the sides. You should listen for a faintly hollow sound. Press the end opposite the stem; ripe melons will yield easily and should feel heavy for their size. Overripe melons may smell a bit musty. The rind should be thick and unblemished.
Little prep is needed to enjoy your melon. If ripe, keep it at room temperature. Ripe melons should be stored in a cool place, even in the refrigerator. Pair with smoked meats, light cheeses, mint, raspberries, and cucumber. Melons sing summer.
We hope you can join us in September to experience a tasting menu comprised of classic and modern dishes inspired by melon. Reservations are open.