Sitting there was a pile of Charentais melons . . . aka French cantaloupes. All cantaloupes are members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with nearly all other melons. But it is no mistake, a Charentais melon is . . . spécial. Most things French are . . . oui? Or chic, at least.
A highly valued melon that is really only available during the summer months . . . June, July & August. And, hello . . . it’s the end of August. My last taste of this delicacy until next summer returns. But it was sooooooooo delicious! I cut it open, ate the whole melon . . . each & every bite was mine! Greedy . . . oh, yes!
The Charentais is a petite-sized (of course, it is . . . it’s French!) melon. It’s smooth, hard skin appears a sort of pistachio-gray color with a distinctive green ribbing. How chic . . . it’s like it got dressed up! Similar to regular cantaloupes, it’s flesh is deep orange, dense, smooth & sweet. But it has an almost intoxicating perfume which sets it apart from the ordinary. Ripeness is known by this powerful aroma which is highly fragrant with tropical fruit and floral notes. Due to it’s delicate nature, a Charentais melon is best consumed and ,of course, appreciated at it’s peak of maturity.
I could smell my Charentais throughout my kitchen . . . screaming for me to open it up and eat it. So, I did . . . alone. I savored each and every bite in only one sitting . . . nothing to be saved. Except the memory of it! It was that good. And next summer, I will be on the melon hunt so I could possibly enjoy many more.
Taste and smell are the best reasons to enjoy a Charentais melon. But they boost a beautiful nutritional profile too! Containing a wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, being an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, a very good source of potassium, and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper and vitamin K . . . this French melon truly qualifies as a “beauty fruit”!
To eating a wee bit more “beau” & “délicieux” . . . one Charentais Melon at a time! Hugs, M.