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Did You Know Melons are in the Gourd Family?

Apr 27, 2016

Trivia to Impress Your Friends

honeydew melonMany melons originated in the Middle East and gradually spread in popularity across Europe. Honeydew melon seeds were transported to the United States by Christopher Columbus and eventually cultivated by Spanish explorers in California.  

  • Most people don't know that melons are in the gourd family along with squashes and cucumbers. Gourd refers to a family of vine-grown "fruits". So, what's the difference between melons and squashes?  Melons refer to the sweetest of these fruits. In addition, squashes are considered vegetables, while melons are known as fruits.   
  • Most melons have similar structure to winter squash, with thick flesh and an inner seed-filled midsection. 
  • According to a USDA, an estimated 30% of honeydews are consumed in restaurants.

Can you name that melon? 25 melon varieties with photos.
 
Important Facts

Here's what you need to know: 
  • Honeydews should be stored at 45-50° F. with a relative humidity of 85-90%.     
  • Refrigerate ripe honeydew melon, store firm (unripened) melon at room temperature until softened slightly at the blossom end, and the skin color turns creamy yellow.   
  • Handle honeydew with care, because they bruise easily. 
  • Honeydew is one of the few melons that can continue to ripen once picked.
  • Once cut, honeydew melons absorb odors from other foods. Store covered.

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