Prime melon season in the Sacramento Valley region is upon us and stretches into September.

There are some amazing melons to choose from.  The varieties are bountiful when it comes to heirloom varieties.

Next visit to your local farmers market try to find these various types of melons and ask for a taste before buying!

Watermelon Family:

Crimson Sweet: Crisp, sweet and mild with medium red flesh.
Mickey Lee: Red flesh w/ a clean taste and a slightly grainy texture.
Moon and Stars: Bright to pinkish-red flesh and a sweet-tart flavor.
New Orchid: Pale orange flesh and a rich, honey-like flavor.
Yellow Doll: Yellow flesh, slightly tart.

Muse & Late-Harvest Melon Family:

Ambrosia: Sweet, floral, and deeply flavorful orange flesh.
Canary: Dense green flesh with a sweet flavor that’s musky in a good way, like grapes.
Charentais: Deep orange and juicy with a flowery aroma.
Eel River: Super soft texture, gentle flavor, and elegant perfume; orange flesh.
Ha-Ogen: Chin-drippingly juicy, with slightly savory, tropical flavors and pale green flesh.
Honeyloupe: Hybrid that tastes and looks like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew; bright orange, sweet and juicy.
Galia: As sweet, juicy and succulent as a summer peach, with soft green flesh.
Green Nutmeg: Tiny, single-serving melon.  A bit spicy, with bright green flesh.
Tuscan: Earthly, clean flavor with hints of cucumber.  Rich, amber-colored flesh.

How to choose a melon:
Give it the once over:  Is it symmetrical?  Check.  No bruises?   Check.  No soggy areas?  Check.
Find the Couche (coosh):  That’s the flat spot where the melon rested on the ground.  If it doesn’t have one, it was harvested too early.
Locate the “full slip” or belly button, where the melon attached to the vine.  It should be smooth and clean, a sign it was ripe enough to detach on its own.
Lift it:  Does it seem heavier than it looks?  Good!  That means its juicy!

MELON TIP: If your melon doesn’t smell strong and fruity, let it sit a day or two to ripen before you cut into it.   Watermelon doesn’t ripen after picking so you need to use the steps above to pick the ripest one right off the crate.


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