Prescott Fond Blanc Melon
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Prescott Fond Blanc melons are medium in size, averaging 5-10 pounds, and have a round, squat shape with a flattened bottom and top. The thick rind is white when young and transforms into a blue-green prior to ripening. When mature, the rind becomes a pale golden yellow, is segmented by deep, vertical ridges, and is often covered in knobs and warts. Like true cantaloupe melons, the skin of the Prescott Fond Blanc is smooth and lacks the netting that is signature to muskmelon varieties. The salmon-orange flesh is dense, moist, and soft with a central, hollow cavity that encases many flat, hard, cream-colored seeds. When ripe, Prescott Fond Blanc melons are juicy and aromatic with a honey, floral scent, and its flesh can be intensely sweet or musky and slightly earthy depending on the ripening process.
Prescott Fond Blanc melons are available in the summer through fall.
Prescott Fond Blanc melons, botanically classified as Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis, are a true cantaloupe and members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins. This French heirloom variety is a part of the rock melon group of cantaloupes and is also known as a White Bottom melon. In France, it is also known as Cantaluppi, which is the name of the town near Rome where cantaloupe type melons were first grown in the 1400’s. Prescott Fond Blanc is considered by many to be one of the best flavored French heirloom melons grown today and is valued for its juicy and thick, sweet flesh.
Prescott Fond Blanc melons contain some vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and folate.
Prescott Fond Blanc melons are best suited for raw preparations as their sweet flavor, and juicy texture are at their peak when fresh. They can be sliced and mixed in both sweet and savory salads or pureed to make beverages, ice creams, sorbets, puddings, or tart fillings. The Prescott Fond Blanc melon can also be used as a substitute in recipes where traditional cantaloupe is called for. The sweet melon flavor pairs well with feta and goat cheeses, arugula, basil, mint, citrus, blueberries, pistachios, hazelnuts, balsamic vinegar, cream, cured pork, and wines such as port or sherry. Once picked, it is recommended that Prescott Fond Blanc melons are left in the field or on the counter to continue to ripen 5-10 days before consumption. This melon keeps well at room temperature and is best consumed within a week of reaching ripeness. Slices of cut melon will keep up to three days when wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.
In the late 1800’s, French artisans created ice cream molds modeled after the popular Prescott Fond Blanc melon. These molds were used to make frozen desserts in the same shape and colors that resembled the popular melon. Today these molds are rare to find and are sought after as collector’s items.
The Prescott Fond Blanc melon is native to France and was a popular variety found in home gardens and French markets in the 1860s. It was then spread to the United States in the late 1800s and was documented by Vilmorin in Les Plantes Potageres in 1883. Today Prescott Fond Blanc melons are found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and for home gardening on online seed catalogs in the United States and Europe.
Recipes that include Prescott Fond Blanc Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Tiny Inklings||Cantaloupe Sorbet with Mint and Port|
|Drizzle & Dip||Prosciutto Wrapped Melon with a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette|