Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew, are refreshing fruit. They decorate beautifully as breakfasts as desserts and appetizers. They provide a good amount of vitamin A and C. Melons belong to the same family as cucumbers and squash. Here are the 3 most cultivated varieties:

Cantaloupe: Very widespread in North America, it is often called, wrongly, cantaloupe. Bark covered with beige sinuous lines recalling a relief embroidery; orange or yellow flesh pink salmon; sweet. A sub-variety called Montreal melon – and whose fruits could reach 15 kilos – was once sold at high prices on US markets.

Cantaloupe Melon: The “real” cantaloupe has a bark that generally has marked ribs. Rather smooth and light green tone, she slightly yellow when ripe. The flesh is orange and sweet. Especially common in Europe, is known him several local sub-varieties, including cantaloupe and Charentais.

Honey Melon: Big melon, often oblong, firm and smooth bark becoming yellow when ripe cream with pale green flesh and sweet .


■ Choose. Is it best: choose a good melon remains a matter of luck … Although the fruits of the new varieties are more uniform, some are sweeter than others, and appearance of the fruit is not always a good clue. According to experts, the main criterion is the weight: the more a melon is heavy in proportion to its size, the better it will be. It should be firm to slightly soft as we prefer more or less mature. He must breathe, around the stem (where the tail should be), a pleasant scent without being too pronounced.

■ On the shelves. Melons are available almost ny t the year, but those grown in Quebec are from early August to late September.

■ Conservation. At room temperature as long as it is not ripe. Once it has reached its maturation, it is best to consume it immediately. One can keep a few days in the refrigerator melon peeled and cut into pieces, in a closed container.

■ Beware of contamination. Melons are sometimes contaminated by bacteria, and it has been reported several cases of infection in the United States.FDA, US agency responsible for food control, has seen fit to issue the following recommendations: – Avoid products with bruises. – Wash hands with soap before handling melons. – Scrub melons with a brush under cold tap water before cutting. Ideas express recipes

■ In a green salad. Cut into bite size pieces, with romaine lettuce and baby spinach (or another variety of greenery). The melon fits well with vinaigrette and pepper.

■ In cream dessert. Spend the flesh of the melon in a blender with yogurt, maple syrup (or honey) and a few drops of lemon or lime. Serve cold. Health advantages

■ The melons are good sources of vitamin A and vitamin C. They also contain various antioxidants. Pulp orange fruits contain much more than pale flesh.