People that know me have to regularly deal with the fact that I’m an amateur foodie. I watch a ton of food programs on TV, visit gourmet grocers and small foreign cafes, and regularly attempt to cook for others (4 years running and no one has been sent to the hospital on my account!). So I may as well start a weekly segment on food I find… interesting. Because let’s face it, everyone has that moment in the supermarket where they stop and think “WTF?!”.
Hence the amalgam ‘WTFood’.
Today’s WTFood: The Santa Claus Melon.
I love melon! Maybe not as much as the Japanese (where a fresh melon is so expensive – $60-80 – they have created an entire sub-industry of melon-flavored snack foods), but it’s one of the best things about summer. Add to the fact that it’s a healthy alternative dessert (low calorie, high vitamin C, high fiber), and I’m sold!
The Santa Claus Melon, also known as the Christmas melon, is roughly the size and shape of one of those old Nerf footballs (about a foot long). As you can see, the outer skin is a mottled green, though it is supposed to yellow as the melon ripens. The flesh is a light yellow, much like a Canary melon, and can get sweeter than honeydew. It’s apparently quite popular in Spain and Latin America and quickly gaining fans in Europe and the U.S.
Now, as you can see below, mine is still a dark green.
I bought it over a month ago.
A MONTH. It has been sitting on my kitchen counter for 5 weeks, doing everything BUT turn yellow. And the thick skin keeps you from telling ripeness by scent.
Because here’s why they call it the Christmas melon: combine it’s late harvest season (from June to October) with a long shelf life (6-8 weeks depending how you keep it), and you can basically serve it as part of your holiday meal.
So finally fed up, I cracked this open today for lunch. And while it was good, it was definitely a tad under-ripe still. So really bringing the WTF to the party, I turned it into a milkshake.
My sister got all the talent when it comes to photography.
I was a bit worried that, between the blending and the milk, the melon flavor would be lost, but it was actually quite present. And decently refreshing.
WTFood moment: My roommate walking in and seeing the crosscut of the melon (pictured above), reminisced about the triple-breasted mutant hooker from Total Recall. Yup.
Hopefully the next one of these will be a tad more gratifying.