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Yellow melons are small to medium in size, averaging thirteen centimeters in diameter, and have an elongated, oblong to oval shape. The smooth rind is firm, waxy, and ranges in color from pale yellow, almost appearing white, to bright yellow. Underneath the rind, the white to pale green flesh is soft, crisp, and juicy with a central cavity filled with many tan to golden seeds. Yellow melons are aromatic with a honey-like scent and are initially bland when young, developing a sweet and tangy flavor with maturity.
Yellow melons are available in the spring through fall.
Yellow melons, botanically classified as Cucumis melo, grow on sprawling vines that can reach over three meters in length and are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. Also known as the Canary Melon, Spanish melon, and Juan Canary, Yellow melons can be found in many different sizes and shapes and are considered an uncommon variety as they are not produced on a large, commercial scale. Yellow melons grow well in warm, arid climates and are a fresh eating variety, favored for their soft but crisp flesh and sweet, tangy flavor.
Yellow melons contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.
Yellow melons are best suited for raw applications as their tangy, sweet flavor is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The flesh can be utilized in both sweet and savory preparations such as fruit salads, green salads, and cold soups, or it can be sprinkled with lime or lemon juice, salt, and ginger for added flavor. Yellow melons can also be blended to make granitas and sorbets, or the flesh can be sliced into decorative pieces and mixed into cocktails with white wine, mint, basil, or lemon juice. In addition to drinks and fresh eating, Yellow melons can be blended into jams or blended and frozen to make fresh popsicles. Yellow melons pair well with cilantro, cardamom, anise, smoked paprika, vanilla, cloves, honey, vinaigrettes, citrus, avocado, corn, arugula, and toasted nuts. The melons will keep for 5-6 days when stored at room temperature and once ripe, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
In Africa, Yellow melons are currently being grown in select regions with the intention of expanding production in order to develop a profitable item for export. Known for their late ripening quality and extended shelf life, Yellow melons can survive being shipped long distances to meet market demands. While not widely popular, Yellow melons are also favored in Africa for their juicy, sweet flesh and are believed to have cooling properties that can reduce body temperature when consumed on hot days.
Yellow melons are believed to be native to Asia, specifically the region around Persia, and have been growing wild since ancient times. While the history of the melon is somewhat unknown, some experts believe the Yellow melon was introduced to Europe in the late 15th century and was spread throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa via trade routes. Today Yellow melons can be found at select fresh markets and specialty grocers in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.