Cream of the Crop: Canary Melons

Canary MelonIf you enjoy freshly chopped fruit salad, you are most likely familiar with the aromatic and juicy flavors of cantaloupe or honeydew melon. However, it’s time to bring awareness to a lesser known member of the melon family that supplies a similar taste, yet possesses its own unique advantages in the kitchen.

The canary melon, also known as the Juan Canary, was fittingly named because of the vibrantly colored yellow rind that makes this fruit shine among its comparable counter-parts. Oval-shaped and bigger than your average cantaloupe or honeydew melon, it contains a transparent green or whitish flesh. The origins of this mildly sweet and subtle tasting fruit are believed to derive from the hot climate of the Middle East, but are also presently grown in South America as well as southwestern states in the US, including Arizona and parts of southern California. Although the canary melon hasn’t attained the popularity and recognition of its melon equivalents, consider adding this fruit to your diet for not only a refreshing new flavor, but also to obtain the health benefits associated with this light melon.

The canary melon is both a low-fat and low-calorie fruit that boasts a healthy fiber count. Fiber is greatly beneficial to your body as it aids digestion and bowel health. Another advantageous aspect of this melon is found in the vitamin A content which supplies and promotes healthy eye and vision functioning. You can also find a great source of vitamin C that assists in tissue repair and the healing of your skin as the vitamin helps the body produce collagen.

Not only is this fruit nutritionally valuable, but can provide a new, tangy, yet mild sweetness to your taste buds. The canary lemon has subtle hints of banana and pineapple, yet does not have an over-powering flavor. When selecting your canary melon in Fairway’s produce department, be sure look for one that has a waxy and firm feel, unblemished skin, and brightly colored yellow rind that contains some soft spots around the stem. You don’t want to choose a melon that has green or soft spots all over the fruit, as they are past their ripened stage. There are several ways you can enjoy this light and refreshing melon, whether you are making cold soup or are looking to change up your everyday salad. The canary melon pairs well with ginger, citrusy flavors, and even honey to enhance its naturally light flavors. For a fun experiment with kids, try making canary melon pops or sorbet as a tasty treat. The canary melon makes a great addition to a fresh fruit smoothie with other melons, berries, and coconut milk, or yogurt. If you’re looking for a satisfying and healthy snack, try making this big bowl of delicious fruit salad for your family or at your next party:

Sweet Canary Fruit Salad

  • 2 cups scooped Canary melon balls
  • 1 cup scooped honeydew melon balls
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  1.  Add all fruits to a bowl, mix, and serve.

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to enjoy Canary melon?

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