THE SCOOP ON CANTALOUPE
Melons have a long and interesting history. Farming this juicy, sweet fruit can be traced to an area around ancient Persia. In China, 3,000-year-old melon seeds have been discovered. The name for the most popular American melon, “cantaloupe,” comes from Cantaloupo, a village near Rome. It was Columbus who brought melon seeds to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.
In spite of the fact that people have grown and eaten melons for thousands of years, picking a ripe one can still be a guessing game. A thick netted skin hides the “inside story.” The best way to find your perfect melon is to feel the stem end where the melon was attached to its vine. The round indentation should be smooth. That shows that the melon slipped off the vine when it was mature. If you feel rough fibers, it was picked before it was ripe.
The melon belongs to the cucumber, squash and pumpkin family but it alone, has a sweet perfume. In fact, the muskmelon, or netted melon, is named for a Persian perfume– “musk.”
A Produce Wizard hid hands in this fruit. Can you find them?
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