The Israeli Melon or Galia Melon, was the first hybrid melon that was developed in the Ne’ve Yaar Research Center of the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel. Galia, which was the name of the daughter of the melon breeder that developed the strain, also means “God’s Wave”. It is a hybrid of cantaloupe and honeydew, which is apparently due to its exterior having a pattern and texture of cantaloupe. At the same time, the flesh inside is colored green and reminiscent of honeydew.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Cucurbitales
- Family: Cucurbitaceae
- Genus: Cucumis
- Species: C. Melo
- Binomial name: Cucumis melo var. reticulatus
Israeli Melon Trivia
- China is the number one producer of melons in the world, with 51% of total global production coming from China
- Melons are considered to be a luxury item in Japan
- Melons that sound “hollow” are juicier and tastier than those that sound “full”
- The Israeli Melon only started commercial production in 1973.
Israeli Melon Buying Guide
When choosing Israeli Melons, the first thing to look out for is the smell. Fully ripe Israeli Melons have a sweet aroma that goes through the thick rind. It is okay for an Israeli Melon to have a discolored patch, as this is the spot where the melon rested on the ground.
Unlike many other melon varieties, tenderness around the stem area is not a good gauge for ripeness.
Color is also a good gauge for the ripeness of an Israeli melon, the more orange-colored the skin is, the more sugar content/sweetness the melon has.
Israeli Melon Production & Farming in Texas
Since the exterior of the Israeli Melon doesn’t survive very well in transport and it has a rather low shelf life, most Texas production of the melon goes directly to the local farmers’ markets. Israeli Melons are being grown by a lot of small producers who focus more on quality and taste rather than durability.
Another quirk of the Israeli Melon is that while they are very susceptible to disease in large commercial growing operations, they don’t seem to have the same problems when grown in small patches.
When grown in small areas, Israeli Melons are resistant to a lot of the diseases and problems that many commercial melon producers face. Add to the fact that Israeli Melons aren’t grown in commercial quantities locally; there is a big chance that the melons you see in the local market are grown organically.
Israeli Melons aren’t particularly hard to plant when grown in small quantities.
They thrive in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. The soil should be kept moist at all times but never mushy or soggy.
You should consider the weather when planting Israeli Melons. They need at least two to three months of consistently warm weather so you can schedule your planting according to the local weather conditions.
Since most local production of Israeli Melons goes directly to local markets or farmers’ markets, there is no special handling and packaging requirement for them aside from the fact that they should be handpicked when perfectly ripe.
Enjoying Israeli Melons
Just like with any other melon, the preparation of the Israeli Melon is pretty straightforward. Clean the outside first with running water, then slice vertically through where the stem was attached. Once it has been halved, scoop out the seed clusters, then you can proceed to cut them into wedges or scoop out the meat as desired.
Israeli Melons will last for one or two days at room temperature. Sliced melons, on the other hand, will last for about three days in the refrigerator.
To freeze Israeli Melons, first, remove the seeds, then cut into the desired shapes and remove them from the rind. Freeze in a single layer before transferring to a freezer-safe container to avoid sticking.
Israeli Melons can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
Since the Israeli Melon is basically the same as any other melon, it is best enjoyed raw as toppings for other desserts, part of smoothies, as salad ingredients, or just as itself. The heated/cooked applications for Israeli Melons are minimal as they are mostly water and will not survive prolonged exposure to heat.
- Compared to other melon varieties, Israeli Melons are very sweet without being overly high on carbs.
- The glycemic index of the Israeli Melon is quite high, but its glycemic load is very low due to the fact that the flesh is mostly water.
- Israeli Melons are high in soluble fiber like pectin, which help eliminate constipation and make you feel fuller and can help with dieting.
- Vitamins and minerals:
- One serving of Israeli Melons provides 15% of the RDI for Vitamin C.
- Israeli Melons are also high in potassium, which can help to prevent cardiac episodes.
- Israeli Melons contain Oxykine, which helps oxidative stress on the kidneys of people with diabetes.
When Is Israeli Melon in Season in Texas?
To find out when Israeli Melon are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? 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. 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. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.