Honeydew or Winter melon is the sweet succulent member of the Muskmelon family. It was considered a sacred food by Egyptians and has been a favorite fruit since prehistoric times. Starting from Cleopatra to Napoleon and Josephine, to Pope John Paul II – Honeydew melons were everybody’s favorite fruit.
The exact origin of honeydew is not known, but it is believed to have originated in Asia. It migrated to Europe from the Middle East in the late 15th or early 16th century. These winter melons are not only popular because of their taste but hey can also be stored for several weeks.
Honeydew is 15 – 20 cm in diameter, round or oval shaped with smooth white or yellow skin and pale green-to-green flesh. Honeydew melons are available throughout the year with the peak season being January and February.
Honeydew melons come in two varieties:
White honeydew melon – smooth white skin, green flesh
Yellow honeydew melon – yellow to gold skin, green flesh
While selecting honeydew melons, be careful to choose clean, creamy or pale green melons that have a sweet aroma of melon. They become heavy if they are full of juice.
Like other melons, honeydew melons do not ripen once they are taken off of the vine. Room temperature helps to keep them for 2 – 3 days. However, once cut, they need to be kept inside the refrigerator.
Honeydew melons are best if eaten fresh in a chilled condition. It can also be refreshing if eaten in a salad, sorbet, ice cream or in the form of chilled soup. You can also bake the honeydew melon and relish it with cream or cheese.
Honeydew melon is not only good in taste; it is good for your health too. It is a great source of potassium and follate. It has been measured that 1 cup of honeydew melon has 60 calories and provides 70% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. It has a high water content, which helps to keep your body hydrated on hot summer days.