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Lililup melons are small fruits, averaging 300 to 500 grams, and have a round to ovate shape, roughly the size of an orange. The melon's surface is pale to golden yellow, firm, and is covered in a semi-rough, raised, and webbed white to tan netting. Underneath the rind, the flesh is pale green, aqueous, dense, and soft with a slippery and smooth consistency. The flesh also encases a central cavity filled with oval, flat, and tan seeds suspended in a gelatinous casing. Lililup melons emit a perfumed, tropical aroma and are delicate in flavor with sweet, refreshing, and subtle, spice-filled nuances.
Lililup melons are available year-round.
Lililup melons, botanically a part of Cucumis genus, are a type of mini melon belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. The modern cultivar was released in the early 21st century by JimboFresh International and was selectively bred for its small size. Lililup melons are favored for their portable nature, marketed as a snack carried in personal belongings to work, school, and daily errands. The melons are also often packaged with a small utensil to further advertise the fruit’s ease of transport. JimboFresh International developed Lililup melons to meet the growing demand for smaller produce to fit the changing dynamics of family sizes, on-the-go produce, and healthy snacks. The sweet melons are considered a specialty variety as they are still relatively new in consumer markets.
Lililup melons are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, nutrients that strengthen the immune system, protect against freed radical damage, and reduce inflammation. The melons also provide potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to stimulate digestion, and other nutrients, including copper, magnesium, and vitamins B and K.
Lililup melons have an aromatic nature and mild, sweet flavor well-suited for fresh or lightly cooked applications such as baking or sautéing. The small fruits can be sliced in half and eaten out-of-hand with a spoon, or the flesh can be sliced from the rind and tossed into green, fruit, and pasta salads. Lililup melons can also be cut into slender pieces and incorporated into fresh spring rolls, used as a topping over yogurt and breakfast bowls, stuffed with salad, meats, fruits, and cheeses, pureed into dips and sauces, or blended into juices for punches, cocktails, and sparkling beverages. Beyond fresh preparations, Lililup melons can be hollowed, baked, and filled with dried fruits, stirred into soups, or lightly sauteed and served with sauces or roasted vegetables. The melons also complement sweet preparations and are coated in chocolate as a bite-sized dessert or used to flavor cakes, crumbles, mousse, pannacotta, cheesecakes, and muffins. In addition to using the fruit's flesh, Lililup melons can be hollowed and used as an edible bowl or glass, filled with citrus juices, hot chocolate, custards, soups, and fruits. Lililup melons pair well with nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and walnuts, Medjool dates, berries including strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, coconut, persimmons, lemons, avocados, spinach, arugula, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, herbs such as mint, parsley, and basil, ginger, turmeric, and cured meats. Whole, unopened Lililup melons will keep 1 to 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. Once sliced, the raw melon pieces will keep for a couple of days when stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
Lililup melons were first promoted through a targeted marketing campaign in 2019 to attract a broad audience of consumers. JimboFresh International, the creators of Lililup melons, partnered with Michelin star Chef Jordi Cruz to showcase the variety and demonstrate its versatility. Chef Jordi Cruz specializes in avant-garde cuisine and was the youngest Spanish chef to acquire a Michelin star at the age of 24. JimboFresh used Chef Cruz’s culinary expertise mixed with humor and cinematography to create a series of short videos to publicize the melon through social media. These videos were modeled after commercials shot during the 1970s for a stylized appearance to create a memorable and nostalgic campaign. Chef Jordi Cruz also incorporated Lililup melons in a variety of dishes during the 2019 Fruit Attraction, a conference in Madrid, Spain, that allows companies to release, evaluate, and test new cultivars. During the event, Lililup melons were among the most highly publicized varieties through billboards, live demonstrations, and verbal marketing.
Lililup melons are an exclusive variety developed in the early 21st century through JimboFresh International, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler focusing on producing quality melon cultivars. JimboFresh selected Lililup melons as a potential commercial variety for the melon’s small size and sweet, easy-to-eat nature. Lililup melons were released in 2019 and are primarily grown in Spain, Senegal, Brazil, and Morocco. Since the variety is grown worldwide, Lililup melons are available year-round and are sold online through JimboFresh International and select partners.
Recipes that include Lililup Melons. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Lililup||Grilled Asparagus and Lililup Melon|
|Lililup||Roasted Lililup Melon with nuts|
|Lililup||Pasta Salad With Lililup Melon|
|Lililup||Lililup with Coconut Pannacotta and Melon|
|Lililup||Lililup Hot Chocolate|
|Lililup||Lililup Melon and Ginger Soup|