Tuscan Style® Cantaloupe Melon
Inventory, 6 ct : 0
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are small to medium melons, averaging 12 to 18 centimeters in diameter, 15 to 20 centimeters in length, and have a round to oval appearance with blunt, curved ends. Each melon typically weighs between 3 to 8 pounds and bears a ribbed surface with prominent sutures extending from the stem end to the blossom end. The stripes appear in shades of dark green, light green, to golden yellow, depending on maturity, and the melon’s surface also showcases a tan, netted exterior with a firm and semi-rough texture. Underneath the thin rind, the flesh is dense, bright orange, smooth, aqueous, and thick, encasing a small central seed cavity filled with ivory oval seeds suspended in fibers and a gelatinous liquid. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes generally have semi-firm but tender flesh when ripe and emit a strong, musky aroma. The melon’s striping indicates the degree of sweetness, and the stripes will transition from dark green and solid to uneven, broken striping with a golden hue. The blossom end will also have a slight give to it when gently pressed when the flesh is extra sweet. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes have a rich, subtly earthy, and exceptionally sweet flavor, containing 14 to 16 Brix sugar levels. This Brix content is higher than traditional cantaloupes, which commonly have around 9 to 10 Brix.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are a hybrid variety created from Italian melons belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. The netted melons are known for their musky aroma and are a seasonal summer favorite, valued for their sweet flavor and juicy flesh. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are a proprietary cultivar that was released in the United States in the early 21st century, but before their American debut, the melons were first introduced to European markets under the name Proteo in 1991. Proteo melons were commercially successful throughout Europe, especially in Tuscany, Italy, and with their increasing demand, they were brought to North America to tap into an unmet market for very sweet, Italian-style melons. In the modern-day, the melons are marketed under the names Tuscan Style® cantaloupes and Tuscan-Style® Extra Sweet cantaloupes. It is important to note that the melons were developed through natural hybridization techniques, not genetically modified, and are primarily served fresh, out of hand, to savor the honeyed-sweet flavor.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are a good source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. The melons also contain potassium to balance fluid levels in the body, folate to produce red blood cells, and other amounts of iron, copper, vitamin K, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes have a very sweet, juicy flesh well suited for fresh preparations. The netted melons are primarily consumed straight, out of hand, discarding the rind and seeds, and the flesh can be chopped into green salads, fruit salads, and salsa. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes can also be sprinkled with salt or chile powder for added flavor, used as a fresh topping over ice cream, pancakes, and yogurt, wrapped in cured meats as an appetizer, or halved and served with cottage cheese as a fresh breakfast. In addition to culinary preparations, Tuscan Style® cantaloupes can be blended into smoothies, fruit juices, and cocktails. The sweet melons complement both savory and sweet dishes and are balanced when served with acidic, salty, or spicy ingredients. They can also be sliced thin and layered atop flatbread, utilized for their sweet taste in desserts, or pureed and added to sauces, sorbets, or cold soups. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes pair well with fruits such as figs, citrus, blueberries, and watermelon, herbs including mint, basil, and tarragon, watercress, arugula, corn, avocado, feta, cotija cheese, honey, cinnamon, and balsamic vinegar. Whole, unopened Tuscan Style® cantaloupes will keep at room temperature for a couple of days. Once mature, they will keep for 3 to 5 days when stored sliced in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes were given their Italian-inspired name to honor the Tuscany region’s love for quality food and wine. Syngenta Seeds, the company that created the melons, first released the variety under the name Proteo throughout Europe. After the melon’s success in European commercial markets, the seed company partnered with Dulcinea Farms to bring the melon to American markets. Company leaders decided to rebrand the cultivar under the name Tuscan Style® cantaloupe as Americans often associate Tuscany, Italy, as a region with beautiful landscapes and quality food. This association was established to entice new customers that the melons have an exotic and pleasant flavor. Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are also labeled as an Italo-American variety, a term created among produce industry professionals highlighting the hybrid melon’s diverse characteristics. The melon’s very sweet flavor, thick flesh, small seed cavity, and defined striping are traits derived from European melons, while the hardy, netted flesh and bright orange coloring are the favored characteristics of melons in American markets. Italo-American melons are a modern example of natural, innovative breeding, and the hybrid melons have become a selected specialty melon variety.
Tuscan Style® cantaloupes were first introduced to American commercial markets in 2004 by Dulcinea Farms LLC, a farm now owned by Pacific Trellis Fruit. The variety was initially developed from natural crossings of a combination of proprietary Italian melon cultivars by Syngenta Seeds of Basel, Switzerland, and the melons were first released under the name Proteo in European markets in 1991. In the early 2000s, the melons were rebranded as Tuscan Style® cantaloupes and were introduced to American commercial markets as a sweet, specialty melon variety. A couple of years later, Dulcinea also released Tuscan-Style® Extra Sweet cantaloupes, which are an improved version of the original melon. Today Tuscan Style® cantaloupes are exclusively grown by Dulcinea Farms, and the melons are cultivated on farms in California, Arizona, and Guatemala.
Recipes that include Tuscan Style® Cantaloupe Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Le Passe Vite||Cantaloupe, Ginger and Mint Granita|
|Spoon Fork Bacon||Salted Cantaloupe and Ginger Ice Cream|
|How Sweet Eats||Cantaloupe Coconut Lassi|