Not A Cantaloupe

This post is basically an extension of yesterday’s post, which was about a giant killer sandwich (‘killer’ as in ‘amazing’, not ‘killer’ as in ‘one who murders’) that I made for a weekend picnic.  In addition to the sandwich, I also showed the other food I brought along for the picnic – vegetables and hummus, and two containers of fruit: one of which contained strawberries and blackberries, and one of which contained…

…well, that’s the focus of today’s post.

Here’s the fruit photo I ran yesterday:

Then I teased that the item on the right isn’t cantaloupe, which is information I didn’t even tell the other picnic attendees (well, I told Heather and John hours and hours later, but Jen and Dave are still in the dark).

So what is it, you ask?

It’s CRENSHAW MELON.

I had never heard of crenshaw melon before, and had certainly never tried it.  But there it was, in the melon section at Whole Foods on Saturday, waiting for me.  I knew I wanted to bring melon on the picnic, and the cantaloupes at Whole Foods weren’t anywhere as ripe as I needed them to be, and I knew one of the picnic attendees doesn’t care for watermelon, so… conveniently right next to the watermelons and cantaloupes were the crenshaws.

Here’s the entire crenshaw I ended up buying:

It was about the same size as a honeydew, but the stem end tapered and has more of a teardrop shape, as you can see in the picture above.  I assumed I could tell if a crenshaw is ripe by using the same trick I use on cantaloupes and honeydews, and I found one that seemed pretty ripe.  How I learned to tell if a melon is ripe or not is to press the flower end of the melon – which is the end opposite the stem end, where the melon was attached to the vine.  If the melon ‘gives’ a little bit when you press the flower end, it’s ripe.  If it doesn’t give, and it’s just as hard as the rest of the melon, then either pick another melon, or buy it and leave it on your counter for a couple days before you dig in.

After finding a ripe crenshaw, what I noticed next was how heavy it was.  It seemed much denser than either a cantaloupe or a honeydew, and the scale at the register weighed that sucker at 5.8 pounds.  I haven’t been paying attention to the weight of the cantaloupes I’ve been buying recently, but I don’t think I’ve bought a cantaloupe that weighed more than 3 or 4 pounds, tops.  This crenshaw was a heavy mofo!  In the spirit of my fun weight loss comparison posts, I’ve lost 28 crenshaws!

I had no idea what to expect when I cut the crenshaw open, and I didn’t bother looking around online first, as that would take all the surprise out of it, but I treated the crenshaw like a cantaloupe, and first cut both ends off of it, and cut down the sides, removing all of the rind:

Looks like a cantaloupe, huh?

It still looked like a cantaloupe when I cut it in half and scooped out the seeds:

And it still looked like a cantaloupe when I chopped it up further:

As for the taste, well, the crenshaw is not all that different from a cantaloupe in flavor and texture.  If anything, the taste is a little milder, and the flesh of the melon is a little lighter (which seemed strange to me, as the melon as a whole was so heavy).  Some folks on the interweb say that the crenshaw is a little spicier than a cantaloupe, but I don’t really know what spice means in regards to fruit, and I don’t think that’s true.  Or, at least it’s not true with the particular crenshaw that I ate.

If you have the opportunity to try a crenshaw, I hope you take it, and let me know what you think!  They’re a great source of Vitamins A & C (3.5 ounces of crenshaw provides 100% of your Vitamin A for the day, and 80% of your Vitamin C), and you can impress your friends by stating that the crenshaw is a hybrid between a casaba melon and a persian melon – both of which I’ve never tried, but will be on the lookout for at the store.

The crenshaw is the third new melon that I’ve tried in recent months – the others being orange flesh and gaya melons – and since I’m a melon fan, I’ll keep looking for other new melons to try, and when I do, I’ll share it all with you!

Keep it up, David!

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10 Responses to Not A Cantaloupe

  1. Dacia says:

    I actually had a Crenshaw melon a few weeks ago and I loved it. I thought it was sweeter than a cantaloupe – probably the sweetest melon I have ever had. The one I bought was bright yellow which I think is an indicator of ripeness. This week the only crenshaw’s they had were greener so I passed on buying one as I was lookin for something to eat right away.

  2. Crystal says:

    We Love Crenshaw melons here in my house. They indeed should be bright yellow to be ripe. I just bought one last night and it will be part of today’s dinner.

    Also look for Canary melon’s they are simply delish.

  3. venessa says:

    Ugh so good David!! Try this simple recipe next time with any of the melon family. Water, cantaloupe, truvia, ice, some mint leaves and a blender. BAM! Refreshing summer drink.

  4. Pat says:

    Darn. I wanted to read about a murderous Sandwich.

  5. betty de generes says:

    Hi David – They’re re-running your show on Ellen tomorrow.

  6. RachelGG says:

    We ended up growing a varity of Crenshaw in our garden this year. I’m in love with it. It is milder than a cantaloupe for sure. But I have a family member who hates cantaloupe, and the Crenshaw has enough of a cantaloupe flavor, that the said family member doesn’t enjoy it. The particular variety we grew is called “Lily” and was sold by Johnnysseeds.com. It produces like MAD, and is easy to know when ready to pick. We’ve had a dozen or more ripe ones in the last two weeks. There is probably another dozen waiting to be picked in the next few days. Out of 4 plants we will have at least 30 melons.

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