Honeydew

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The Honeydew melon (or honey melon as it is known in some places) is a cousin of the more popular cantaloupe. While it isn’t as popular as its cousin, the honeydew is as nutritious as its cousin, and in many cases, much sweeter and tastier than the cantaloupe. In a blind taste test, it is virtually impossible to differentiate the two as the flavor profiles are nearly identical. The differences between the two are mostly visual, with Honeydew having green flesh and the cantaloupe having orange flesh.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Cucurbitales
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae
  • Genus: Cucumis
  • Species: C. melo
  • Binomial name: Cucumis melo

Honeydew Melon Trivia

  • While almost all honeydews have greenish flesh, there is a variant that has orange flesh, and it is called the “temptation melon.”
  • There is a town in France called Cavaillon that is considered “The World Capital of Melons.”
  • Alexandre Dumas reportedly asked for a dozen melons per year in exchange for donating his works to Cavaillon’s public library.
  • Honeydew melons were only introduced to China in the 1940s.
  • The ancient Egyptians considered the Honeydew to be a “Sacred Fruit.”

Honeydew Melon Buying Guide

When choosing honeydew melons, pick one that has a dull exterior. Shiny skinned honeydew melons are most likely still underripe. Color is another factor to look out for when choosing honeydew melons. The color should start to have a yellow or lemon shade to it and not pure green.

Weight should also be another factor to consider when choosing a honeydew melon. It should be hefty or heavy of its size. If a honeydew melon feels light, then move on to the next one.

Finally, you can check the section where the vine was attached to. It should be a little bit soft to the touch, and it should still smell sweet and fragrant.

Avoid honeydews with visible bruising or ones that have soft spots.

Honeydew Melon Production & Farming in Texas

Honeydew melons account for 20% of all the melon production in Texas. All of the Texas melon production goes directly into the local markets, which includes both fresh whole fruits and prepared fruit salads found in stores and groceries.

The majority of honeydew production is centered around the Lower Valley area, with the rest being produced in Trans-Pecos and the Winter Garden.

Honeydew melons can also be easily grown at home, but an ample space is required as their vines tend to crawl outwards.

Pesticides:

Honeydew melons are part of the EWG’s Clean Fifteen List, with only 14.2% of all tested samples having more than one pesticide residue. While this may be the case, honeydew production still entails the usage of pesticides that contaminate the waterways, soil, and air around where they are grown. The reason for the low pesticide detection is that the honeydew’s thick rind protects it from contamination.

Honeydew production is semi-dependent on pesticides, so purchasing locally and from certified organic farms are still the way to go.

Geography:

Honeydew Melons thrive in well-drained, medium-textured soil with a pH of 6.0-8.0. They should be planted when the soil temperature is higher than 70F. A low temperature of soil and air can stunt honeydew melon vine growth.

Some pests to look out for when growing honeydew melons include sweet potato wildflies, squash bugs, spider mites, melon aphids, and western flower thrips.

Honeydew melons can survive well in USDA hardiness zones 4-11, which means that they can thrive anywhere in Texas; just make sure to plant them according to your local climate to avoid extreme temperatures, which may affect plant growth.

Packaging:

Honeydew melons must be mature once harvested as immature fruit will no longer mature once it is off the vine. After harvest, the melons are cooled off to remove excess field heat and to prolong storage life. They are then ripened with ethylene gas for up to 24 hours to ensure uniform ripening.

After the ripening stage, they are packed according to customer specifications before shipping out.

As with any other fruit, vine-ripened honeydew melons have the best taste and sweetness when compared to their ethylene-ripened counterparts. If you’re lucky enough to live near to an organic grower or a farmers’ market, then going organic is the way to go.

Eating Honeydew Melons

Give the honeydew a thorough wash to remove any external contaminants from the rind. After washing, slice down through the stem area vertically with a knife to halve the melon. Scoop out the seeds and the mushy part in the middle before proceeding to cut into wedges or cutting the flesh for consumption.

Storage:

Honeydew Melons can be stored whole at room temperature for a few days to allow them to ripen/sweeten fully. Once cut open, Honeydew Melons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three to five days without spoiling.

If you want to store Honeydew Melons for a longer period, remove them from the rinds and store in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to one year without any noticeable loss in quality.

Cooking:

Honeydew melons, just like any other melon, is best enjoyed in its raw form. It can also be used on fresh green salads, fruit salads, toppings for cakes and desserts, smoothies and other cold preparations.

Honeydews can also be pureed to be used in glazes and sauces, but its cooked applications are limited to grilling and as flavoring components for baking.

Nutrition:

The Honeydew Melon is the Cantaloupe’s sweeter and greener cousin.

  • Carbs
    • Honeydew Melons sit in the mid-high level for glycemic index. This means that those with diabetes or those who are watching their sugar levels should be careful when consuming honeydew melons.
    • On a positive note, these are natural sugars, so if you have a craving some something sweet, it’s still better than those snacks with processed sugars and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Fiber
    • Since melons are mostly water and sugar, a serving of Honeydew Melon contains only 3% of the RDI for fiber. So if you’re looking for a fiber-rich fruit, you’re better off choosing another fruit.
  • Vitamins and minerals:
    • While the Honeydew melon contains less vitamin A and Vitamin C than the Cantaloupe, it is still considered to be a good source of both.
      • Vitamin C is a scientifically proven antioxidant that aids in overall health, and it can also boost your immune system and aid in wound healing.
      • Vitamin A is linked to promoting good eye health.

When Are Honeydew in Season in Texas?

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  • May
  • June
  • July
  • Oktober
  • November

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Buy Local Farmfresh Honeydew in Texas Directly from the Producer

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