Minnesota Midget Melon
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Minnesota Midget melons are a petite variety that typically do not exceed 10 to 12 centimeters in diameter, approximately the size of a softball. Resembling a miniature cantaloupe, the thin skin of the Minnesota Midget is covered in rough, tan netting and is slightly segmented by vertical ridges. Its interior flesh is a creamy bright orange hue in color and surrounds a large seed cavity. Like many muskmelon varieties, when ripe the Minnesota Midget melon will have a sweet melon fragrance full of floral and tropical aromas. Its juicy flesh has a high sugar content and offers a sweet flavor and melt in your mouth texture.
Minnesota Midget melons are available in the early summer months.
Minnesota Midget melons, botanically known as Cucumis melo ‘Minnesota Midget’ are a member of the Cucurbitaceae or Cucurbit family. A type of muskmelon, the Minnesota Midget is sought after for its exceptionally sweet and tender flesh as well as its ability to be successfully grown in cooler northern climates of the United States. Muskmelons are also often referred to as cantaloupe in the United States though technically they are botanically classified as a muskmelon variety.
Like their full-sized melon relatives, Minnesota Midgets are a good supply of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C and dietary fiber.
The petite size of Minnesota Midget melons makes them ideal for serving as a personal one or two serving melon. They can be halved, seeds removed and served as is or stuffed with other fruits, yogurt or granola. Peeled and sliced lengthwise they can be paired with savory accompaniments such as salted meats and robust cheeses. Puree and use as a base for cold soups, sauces, cocktails, sorbets and smoothies. Cube and add to fruit, green and grain salads. Minnesota Midget melons will keep at room temperature for three to five days after fully ripe. Cut melon will keep in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to three days.
The Minnesota Midget melon is named after the state where it was first bred and introduced at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul in 1948. Growing on three to four foot vines, Minnesota Midget melons are ready to be harvested at full slip when they release completely from their vines. Each vine will produce six to eight melons. As a result of their petite size they are a good candidate for small gardens and container growing. Like many muskmelons, the Minnesota Midget thrives in full sunshine though it will also do well in cooler climates. This specific variety is also popular for its resistance to a common melon disease, Fusarium wilt. Known for its short growing season the Minnesota Midget is typically ready for harvest within 60 days of planting.
Recipes that include Minnesota Midget Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
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