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Ambrosia melon is a petite variety of melon that resembles a small cantaloupe. Its exterior is covered in sandy hued skin and rough netting that becomes increasingly pronounced as the melon reaches its peak of ripeness. The skin of the Ambrosia melon is thin and encases a light orange flesh and petite seed cavity. This melon offers a sweeter flavor with slight floral nuances and a more juicy consistency than the common cantaloupe. When ripe, the Ambrosia melon will have a sweet melon aroma and the blossom end will be slightly soft to the touch. Ambrosia melons are best consumed within a few days of harvesting.
Ambrosia melons are available during the summer months.
The Ambrosia melon, botanically known as Cucumis melo ‘Ambrosia’ is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. A type of muskmelon the Ambrosia melon is a hybrid variety that is sought after for its compact size and exceptionally sweet and tender flesh. In the United States muskmelons are also often referred to as cantaloupe, though technically no true cantaloupes are grown commercially in the United States.
Like other muskmelon varieties, the Ambrosia melon is an excellent source of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
The high sugar content and resulting sweet flavor of the Ambrosia melon make it ideal for fresh eating. Puree and use to make beverages, syrups, sauces, soups and fillings for desserts. Slice or ball the flesh and add to salads or serve directly in the halved melon shells. Thinly slice and utilize in deserts or sweet breakfast preparations. Its classically sweet muskmelon flavor marries well with aged salty meats such as prosciutto and salami, berries, basil, mint, arugula, red onion, lime, cucumber, sweet cream, and robust cheeses such as feta and parmesan. Ambrosia melons can be kept at room temperature until cut then will keep for three days refrigerated.
Muskmelons are divided into eastern and western varieties. Eastern varieties such as the Ambrosia are identifiable by their seams or gullies which run the length of the melon. The eastern varieties are also known for their sweet and delicate flesh which as a result makes them less suitable for shipping long distances. Western muskmelons which lack seams, have a less sweet flavor and sturdier texture are more of the go-to muskmelon variety for commercial production and distribution. The Ambrosia melon will be a prolific producer provided it is given ample sun exposure and moist, well-drained soil. The leaves of melons are responsible for producing the sugar of the melon fruit. Since the Ambrosia melon is resistant to a common leaf disease known as Powdery Mildew it has a track record of being an exceptionally sweet variety of muskmelon. The Ambrosia melon will “slip” or “half-slip” (naturally release) from its stem a day or two after they are ripe. This melon should be vine ripened as their sugar content increases right up until they are released from the vine.
Recipes that include Ambrosia Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Fairview Garden Harvest Shares||Avocado Melon Salad|
|Desserts for Breakfast||Ambrosia Mojito Popsicles|
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