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Timun Suri Melons
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Timun Suri can widely range in size from small to large and are oval to elliptical in shape. The rind is smooth, firm, and matures from green to bright yellow, sometimes showcasing white spots or stripes. Underneath the rind, the white flesh is soft, dense, and aqueous. In the center of the fruit, there is also a semi-hollow cavity filled with many oval, cream-colored seeds. Timun Suri is highly aromatic with a tender, juicy consistency and a mild, sweet flavor.
Timun Suri is available year-round in Indonesia, with a peak season during the holy month of Ramadan.
Timun Suri, botanically classified as Cucumis melo, is an elongated melon that grows on leafy, creeping vines and is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Though it is classified as a melon, Timun translated from Indonesian means “cucumber,” and this melon is often labeled as such for its refreshing taste and elongated shape. In Southeast Asia, Timun Suri can be grown year-round, but many farmers choose to only cultivate the melon for the religious time of Ramadan as the melon is often used to break periods of fasting.
Timun Suri contains phosphorus, vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, and magnesium.
Timun Suri is most commonly consumed raw for its fresh, sweet flavor. The flesh can be sliced and consumed by itself, or it can be tossed into green and fruit salads. It can also be used to make fruit leather or compote. The most popular use of Timun Suri is in a refreshing beverage, sometimes known as fruit ice. This beverage uses Timun Suri paired with syrups, honey, condensed milk, or lime juice for added flavor. It can also be combined with other melons or coconut for additional fruity notes. Timun Suri will keep 3-5 days when stored in a cool, dark place and when sliced, the pieces should be stored in the refrigerator.
Timun Suri is closely associated with Ramadan, which is one of the holiest months in the Islamic religion. During this month, Muslims will engage in prayer and fast from dawn-to-dusk. When it is time to transition back into eating for the evening meal, it is customary to consume a sweet beverage or snack to help the stomach become accustomed to food again. Timun Suri is one of the most popular ingredients in these light snacks in Indonesia and is believed to help soothe the digestive system. Due to the fruit’s high demand for such a short season, many farmers only plant the melons right before the changing Ramadan schedule to sell in the market. After the Ramadan season is over, the fruits tend to disappear from the market until the following year.
Timun Suri is believed to be native to Indonesia and has cultivation records dating back to the 18th century. Today the fruit is found at many local markets throughout Indonesia, mainly during the time of Ramadan, and is prevalent in West Java, especially in Jakarta, and South Sumatra.
Recipes that include Timun Suri Melons. One is easiest, three is harder.
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