Melon - Santa Claus
Green and gold striped, the Santa Claus melon somewhat resembles a small Watermelon. The color of the striping is a sign of the melon's ripeness-the brighter the color, the riper and sweeter the melon. It has mildly flavored pale greenish flesh similar to honeydew but not as sweet. Due to its thick skin, this melon does not release a telltale aroma when ripe. To store, keep melons at room temperature for two to three days. Refrigerate ripe or cut melons up to three days. Remove from the walk-in about one-half hour before serving for best flavor.
Use in salads, fruit platters, granita, chilled soups, agua fresca, ice creams, and smoothies.
The ancient cradle of melon cultivation is the Middle East, where melons have been growing for thousands of years from Egypt to India, but they grow well in any temperate area that has a growing season long and hot enough. Melons were imported to the western hemisphere by Columbus on his second voyage. Their cultivation spread quickly from the Caribbean as far north as New England. Today most melons consumed in the US are produced in California's San Joaquin Valley.
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