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Food glossary

Melon

Melon

Cantaloupe

The Cantaloupe melon is named after a small town near Rome, Cantalupa, and is appreciated everywhere for its exceptionally juicy, sweet, orange flesh. Like all melons, it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes, but its flavour is always enhanced by serving well chilled. Available all year.

Uses: It is ideal in fruit salads, fish or poultry dishes and can be eaten on its own.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and remove the pips and fibres. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh or slice and cut the flesh away from the skin.

Charentais

The small charentais melon is grown mainly in France and Spain and has a smooth pale green to cream skin. The very juicy flesh is deep orange in colour and it is one of the best dessert melons. Available all year.

Uses: Serve chilled on its own, or as part of a fruit salad. Serve chunks of melon with black olives with pre-dinner drinks, or wrap melon cubes in smoked salmon and serve on cocktail sticks.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and remove the pips and fibres. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh or slice and cut the flesh away from the skin.

Galia

This variety of melon has a thick green skin and sweet yellow flesh, which is full of flavour. Available all year.

Uses: Serve on its own or in slices with a selection of cold meats. Add to fruit salads or purée the flesh and stir into orange juice for a delicious non alcoholic cocktail.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and remove the pips and fibres. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh or slice and cut the flesh away from the skin.

Honeydew

An oval-shaped melon with yellow or green wrinkled skin, Its flesh may be pale green, yellow or pink, depending on type. It has a subtle, refreshing sweet flavour. Available all year.

Uses: Cut into slices and sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon or ginger for a simple starter or dessert.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and remove the pips and fibres. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh or slice and cut the flesh away from the skin.

Piel de Sapo

A Spanish melon whose name means ´toad`s skin` - a reference to its dark green roughly textured surface. Inside the pale yellow to green flesh has a distinctive, delicate sweet flavour. Available all year.

Uses: Delicious eaten Italian-style with thinly sliced prosciutto. Or serve with after-dinner cheese - it is especially good with salty feta or extra mature Cheddar.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and remove the pips and fibres. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh or slice and cut the flesh away from the skin.

Watermelon

Quite different from the other types of melon available, water melons are usually quite large, with a dark green skin. The flesh is a bright pinky red colour and has a quite bland sweet flavour, it contains black seeds which provide a direct contrast in colour and texture to the flesh. Slices of water melon are especially popular in warm countries where they are served chilled as a refreshing alternative to a long, cool drink to help quench thirst. Available all year.

Uses: Serve chilled and sliced as part of a fresh fruit platter.

To store: Keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripened, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cut melon should always be covered with clingfilm and used within 3 days.

To prepare: Halve and cut into thick slices.