Melons – July, wk 27

Melons: Such hot weather, perfect for melons: such a summer fruit!

There are plentiful supplies of melons in all stores, whether supermarket, green grocer or market stall. These are mainly from Spain, with some from Italy and Greece, and, as volumes improve, prices are coming down.

Watermelons are the perfect choice when it’s too hot to move. They are probably the easiest to buy as stores of all types always have them in stock. Sweetness and juice keep us coming back for more, but they are also one of the best fruit to eat after a meal, helping ease and sooth the fully stretched tummy.

The favoured melon of Spain, Piel de Sapo, with it’s honey-sweet pale green flesh is a good reliable option, but often slightly more expensive that the other types, and tending to be quite large in size. It’s a lovely fruit though, and worth the pay-out of extra pence over the standard Galia, Honeydew and Canteloupe. These three types make-up the majority of volumes purchased and tend to be the focus of price promotions (e.g. this week in Sainsbury’s and Tesco). They can all be wonderful fruit when at their best, so individual choice prevails. Unfortunately, they can all be a bit hit n’ miss as well, both in flavour and sweetness, so we are in the hands of the supermarkets in ensuring good fruit reaches the shelves.

The best of the main types of melons, and the favourite of France, is the delicious Charantais which announces it’s claim to fame with wonderful aroma before the first cut is made. Due to their slightly tricky nature, these soft, orange-fleshed flavoursome melons are usually more expensive than the rest, and more difficult to find. Only M&S, Waitrose and very good green grocers seem to consistently sell them, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s as ad hoc purveyors. Buy them when you can!

Other melons of note in supermarkets this month are the various speciality melons. These are essentially either new or unusual varieties, and as such can offer some interesting alternative eating experiences. Tesco is trying very hard to introduce more choice with a good range of four speciality melons, as is M&S, Waitrose and occasionally, Asda. Look out for the following:

  • Tesco Finest Sunkiss: looks like a Honeydew but with pale orange flesh; sweet with a hint of caramel.
  • Tesco Sweet Tangy Twist: can be confused with a Canteloupe, but with sweet tangy flesh, quite unusual.
  • Tesco Finest Charantais: looks more like a white Honeydew, but with super flavour.
  • Tesco Sweet Snowball: an Ivory Gaya melon that looks like a 1960’s curtain fabric; intensely sweet, soft white flesh.
  • Waitrose Matice: same as Tesco Sweet Snowball, different name.
  • Waitrose Orange Delight: an improved Honeydew with more sweetness.
  • M&S Orange Candy: an improved Honeydew with more sweetness.

Current Lowest Prices (2nd July, 2018):

Honeydew: £1.00 – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco; £1.89 – Waitrose

Canteloupe: £1.00 – Asda; £1.25 Sainsbury’s; £1.50 – Tesco

Galia: £0.79 – Asda; £0.85 – Sainsbury’s; £0.94 – Waitrose

Watermelon: £2.00 – Asda, Morrisons; £2.50 – Sainsbury’s

Piel de Sapo: £2.00 – Tesco; £2.20 – Sainsbury’s; £2.43 – Morrisons

Charantais: £2.49 – Waitrose; £2.50 – M&S

Charantais (Finest): £1.75 or 2 for £3.00 – Tesco

Ivory Gaya: £2.25 – Tesco; £2.99 – Waitrose

Orange Delight Honeydew: £2.99 – Waitrose

Orange Candy Honeydew: £3.00 – M&S

Sunkiss Honeydew (Finest): £1.75 or 2 for £3.00 – Tesco

Sweet Tangy Twist: £2.25 – Tesco



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