Cantaloupe or Muskmelon?
Do you say cantaloupe or muskmelon?
I say muskmelon, though I usually say it fast and it ends up like mussmelon leaving the ‘k’ sound out. I don’t know, it’s just something about the word musk that is strange…almost creepy?
I think a lot of people say cantaloupe when referring to these sweet, orangish melons with their funky webbed skin. I suppose that word is a bit more sexy (it is French) and perhaps a little less creepy than musk. Nobody wants to say a potentially weird word when referring to food they eat. Are ya with me?
Although the names are used interchangeably, there actually is a difference. The common melon that you grow and buy at the market or grocery store is actually a muskmelon. A true cantaloupe is not commonly grown in the United States and is typically found in France (hence the French name). It has a hard, warty rind that is smooth opposed to the netted texture of a muskmelon and may have orange or green flesh. It’s also on average a smaller sized melon, which is one reason I’m guessing the muskmelon became the melon of choice in America….we tend to pick big over small.
I’ve just always used the term muskmelon ’cause that’s what my grandpa called them when I was little and they grew them. And it’s just stuck as I grow them myself today.
No worries if you like to call it a cantaloupe. Just don’t call it disgusting. A sweet, ripe muskmelon tops the flavor charts in my book. This sweet treat is also a great source of Vitamin A & C and potassium.
But hey what do I know? I mean I pretend melons are butts….nutso!
This year I planted from Seed Savers Exchange, Sweet Granite melon, a variety that does well when direct-seeded in colder climates. Melons love heat and you never know in this Zone 5 climate if the summer will be warm enough for good melon production. Fortunately this blazin’ hot summer has been a perfect melon-growing environment.
The past week or so I’ve picked at least one ripe muskmelon everyday. This particular variety to me is nice and sweet – almost citrus-y and without a strong musk scent. The flavors are not overly intense but not bland, just very delicate which is nice and refreshing.
While fresh melon all by itself makes an excellent snack or side for breakfast or lunch, don’t be afraid to use it as an ingredient. Check out this absolutely gorgeous Orange Cantaloupe Sorbet from The Cilantropist.
I was in need of a pre-dinner snack, so I decided to utilize the half of melon leftover from my morning snack for a quick appetizer on the grill. Playing off of the classic Melon & Prosciutto combo, I made Bacon-Wrapped Melon bites.
Yeah I would have loved to do prosciutto, but my local grocery store doesn’t stock such things – that’s small town for ya. But I’m pretty sure you can never go wrong with bacon either.
It was as simple as slicing up some pieces of melon and then wrapping with bacon and securing with a toothpick.
Cooked on a hot grill for about 15 minutes or until bacon is done to your preference.
I really don’t remember how long, I was actually out piddling in the garden and then smelled bacon and was like “oh yeah!” as a sprinted to the grill. I am the ultimate multi-tasker.
Sampling with different herbs, my favorite was one drizzled with honey and fresh rosemary. Delish!
It may have ruined my appetite for supper. But so worth it!