This blog will talk about the different types of melons that you may encounter the next time you go fruit shopping. Melon is a delicious fruit, though some varieties may be considered a vegetable. They are considered one of the summer’s juiciest, coolest and healthiest fruits. They have a very high water content, making it perfect to indulge in a hot summer’s day.
Melons are a part of the family Cucurbitaceous, with sweet, edible and fleshy fruit.
In addition to having cooling and refreshing properties, melons have many health benefits. They are rich in nutrients, help reduce blood pressure, may improve blood sugar control and contain nutrients that are vital for bone health. They contain electrolytes and water and may support healthy skin, boost immune system and promote proper digestion.
Different Types of Melons
Though, the watermelon and the cantaloupe are the most common types of melons seen in the market, there are many varieties of melons that you may not be aware of. Before you grab on to the same melon every time, you may like to find out about the different types of melons available to broaden your palate.
Watermelons are the most popular and common type of melons. They are native to African regions and have been grown and consumed for thousands of years. Watermelons have an extremely high-water content, having water in excess of 90%. This is why they are called watermelon. Due to the high-water content, they make for a delicious and refreshing snack during very hot days.
They are cultivated around the world, with China producing almost 70% of the total watermelon production around the world. Brazil and Turkey are the second larger producer with the United States not to far behind.
Watermelons are very rich in nutrients, having high quantity of vitamin C, A and other antioxidants. They are known to have many health benefits such as the prevention of cancer, improving heart health and lowers inflammations.
2. Ananas Melon
Ananas is native to the Middle Eastern Region. They are an oval shape and have a netted rind similar to Cantaloupes. Ananas melon have a lighter flesh, ranging form a light shade of off-white to light shade of orange yellow.
This melon is very sweet to taste and have a mild spicy flavor like that of pineapple. They are also very popular for their elongated seed cavities.
3. Camouflage Melon
Native to Spain, they are actually found abundantly in Australia. These melons are also known as Christmas melon, Frog skin melon and even Santa Claus melon. The name Frog skin melon is given as the skin is similar to frog skin. Some Australians even call it the croc-melons, due to the skin texture. The skin is a shade of green and brown and resembles the skin of amphibians.
The camouflage melon is extremely tasty and very juicy to taste. The flesh of the camouflage melon is creamy off-white in color and has a texture of a honey dew.
There are two types of cantaloupe, namely the European and North American Cantaloupe. The European Cantaloupe was cultivated in the Cantalupo region of Italy, and the name has been derived from the area of cultivation. It has a grayish skin with white stripes. This is usually called the true cantaloupe and has a sweet taste. They are eaten on their own or combined with desserts and fruit salads.
The North American Cantaloupe are grown in warmer regions of Mexico and USA. They have a sweet taste and an orangish flesh like that of a papaya. They are consumed for breakfast and with desserts.
5. Casaba Melon
The Casaba Melon is very similar to the cantaloupe and the honey dew. They are native to the US and have been grown since the beginning of the 18th century. They have a mild, sweet flavor and its taste resembles that of a cucumber. The skin has a yellowish hue when ripened.
They are usually served in salads and fruit platters. The flavor of the Casaba melon can be enhanced by adding a dash of lemon to it. They are available throughout the year, whether it is winter or summer.
6. Galia Melon
A hybrid of the honeydew and the Cantaloupe, the Galia melon is native to Israel. However, now they are found in many parts of the world such as South America, United States and Europe. They are cultivated around the globe in warmer weather.
These melons are round in shape having a nettled rind. They are sweet having a mildly spicy flavor.
7. Canary Melon
The Canary Melon are found widely in Asian and South American Regions. They are bright yellowish melon and belong to the Musk Melon. The flesh has a pale greenish hue with soft, silky texture when ripened. Oval in shape, they are large in size. The Canary melon are a breakfast staple and are common in fruit salads.
8. Golden Langkawi Melon
These beautiful melons originate in Langkawi, Malaysia, and hence the name given to it. They are also referred to as the ‘Golden Honeydew Melon’ and is popular due to its sweet taste. The skin of these melons changes from white to yellow when ripe. The bright yellow color is so distinct that is why they are known as the golden melons.
9. Hami Melon
The Hami Melon originated from China over 700 years ago. The melon is similar to a cantaloupe and is a kind of a musk melon. It consists of a green webbed skin enclosing an orange-colored flesh. The Hami Melon not only looks good but has a nice subtle sweet taste to it. It is a perfect complement to a breakfast meal due to its distinct sweet taste and fresh-looking flesh.
10. Banana Melon
Found and grown in the Northern Region of the United States, the Banana melon resembles a banana, which is why it has been named so. The thick green wrinkled skin encloses a peach-colored flesh. They banana melon has a spicy sweet taste, creating the perfect balance between sweetness and spiciness. This melon looks like a cantaloupe from the inside and has a long shelf-life.
11. Kantola Melon
This melon has a taste similar to bitter melon. It is also known as ‘Spiny Gourd’ and is used more as a vegetable than a fruit. The fruit is very high in Vitamin C and folate and has many health benefits. It helps in the prevention of kidney stones. This melon is used in various Indian recipes such as curries and soups. A popular dish is to stir fry the Kantola Melon and pickle it.
12. Bitter Melon
Originating in Indian subcontinent, the bitter melon is known as Pare in Indonesia. They are also found abundantly grown in the Asian, African and Caribbean region. The bitter lemon is often eaten as a vegetable due to its bitter taste. It is very rich in antioxidant and can boost one’s immunity if eaten in considerable amounts.
13. Charentais Melon
The Charentais Melon is originated in France and is widely manufactured in North African regions. Though not produced in the United States, you will find them in the stores. The distinctive feature that distinguishes these melons from others is their fragrance. They have a very sweet and refreshing aroma. These melons are round in shape with a light greenish hue with dark green stripes running along their length. Their flesh is juicy having a bright orangish color.
14. Crane Melon
The Crane Melon have been found in California in the early 1900. They are a hybrid of Persian, Japanese and Ambrosian varieties of melons. They have a beautiful orange flesh and are popular due to their fresh bite and sweet taste.
15. Winter Melons
Winter melons, as the name suggests are eaten in the winter. They are cultivated in the warmer months, but due to their incredibly long shelf life they can be consumed in the winter. The winter melons have a waxy skin which keeps the flesh fresh and juicy all year around.
The skin is dark greenish exactly like a watermelon. However, it encloses a pale orange flesh and have lot of seeds.
16. Skyrocket Melon
The Skyrocket melons are huge, round shaped and weigh almost 3 kgs. The skin is green and yellow with a webbed appearance. With over 20% of sugar content, these melons are the sweetest melons that you can find. The Skyrocket Melon has a thick, white skin with greenish specks. The skin encloses a soft, white, juicy flesh. One amazing fact about these melons is that some of the larger melons can weigh almost 10 pounds. This huge fruit sure packs in lot of punch.
17. Korean Melon
Hailing from East Asia, this melon is also known as the ‘Oriental Melon’. It has a yellow skin enclosing a white juicy fruit. The Korean melon tastes very similar to honey dew and pears. It is very difficult to harvest the Korean Melon, as the skin is very sensitive. It burns easily in the sun and great care needs to be taken when harvesting this fruit.
18. Maroon Melon
Unlike its name, the maroon melon is small and greenish in color. They tend to resemble mini watermelons with spikes. The spikes make it look like a cactus. These melons have a taste similar to that of a cucumber. They come from Africa and have been cultivated in many parts of the world including the US.
19. New Century Melon
Similar to the Chinese Hami melon, the New century Melon comes from Taiwan. This melon is oblong in shape and has a thick, dark green, webbed skin. It encloses a delicious, light orange colored pulp. The New Century Melon has a sugar content of 14% making it very sweet to taste. The fruit is also known for its disease resisting properties and is therefore very popular.
20. Gac Melons
These melons originate from Vietnam and also known as the Vietnamese melons. Though native to Vietnam, you can also find them in other regions of China, Asia and Australia. The Gac Melons are not as sweet as other melons and used as a vegetable more than fruit. They taste like avocadoes and are used in soups, stews and curries.
21. Autumn sweets
The Autumn Sweet Melon is another variety of the sweet melons. They have a round shape with a golden yellow hue. The skin encloses a white flesh. These melons are extremely sweet and have a soft, watery texture. They can be refreshing and enjoyed on a hot day.
22. Sprite Melon
The Sprite Melon is a hybrid of the Honeydew melon. It originates from Japan but has been cultivated in North Carolina for a few decades. The Sprite Melon is very sweet, and it has been noted that it is almost 30% more sweeter than any other melon. Due to its distinctive sweetness, it is eaten as a dessert in many parts of the world.
23. Ten Me Melon
One of the most premium and expensive melons in the market, this melon is very hard to find. The Ten Me Melon has a bright yellow skin when fully ripe and the taste of this melon cannot be rivaled. Hence, though pricey this melon is definitely worth every penny that has been paid for it.