To a botanist, melons, squash, gourds, as well as cucumbers are all a part of the Cucurbitaceae or the gourd family. However, all of these are considered to be vegetables, with the exception of melons.
Muskmelons are fleshy fruits that belong to the genus Cucumis
, species melo
, and Cucurbitaceae
family. Cucumis melo
is broadly divided into three groups: Cantaloupensis (true cantaloupe), Reticulatus (summer melon, aromatic netted melon that slips from the vine after ripening), and Inodorous group (winter melons that have a hard, corrugated rind). Melons from the Cucumis melo inodorus
group lack the distinctive odor that muskmelons give off. Moreover, these do not slip from the vine after ripening. Members of the Inodorous group include casaba, crenshaw, Christmas, honeydew, and canary melons. Known for their mild taste, canary melons are known by several names, such as Spanish melon, Juan Canary, Jaune des Canaries, and Amarillo. They are named so due to their bright, canary yellow color. One of the greatest advantages that the melons from the Cucumis melo inodorus
group have over other types of melon varieties is that they can be stored for a longer period. This is due to their long post-vine shelf-life. Their flesh is firm, almost whitish, with a tinge of green. The area around the seed cavity is orange or light-pink in color.
Slightly larger than cantaloupes and honeydrew melons, a canary melon can be differentiated from other melons by its vibrant, canary yellow color. It has a hard rind and is oval in shape. Though the canary melon is not as popular as other types of melons, and might not score high in terms of sweetness, it can certainly be included with citrus fruits and melons for making fruit salads. It can be combined with other fruits for making smoothies or sorbets. Ginger, basil, cilantro, and mint help enhance its slightly sweet and tangy flavor. Though this variety is native to Iran, it is widely grown in Arizona and the southern portion of California.
Nutritional Facts About Canary Melons
There's more to these juicy fruits than their flavor. The following table provides nutritional information about this fruit.
|Nutrients (Value per 100 g)|
|Dietary fiber||1.0 g|
|Total sugar||7.0 g|
|Vitamins (% Daily Value)|
|Total Saturated Fatty Acids||0 g|
|Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||0 g|
|Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||0 g|
Health Benefits of Canary Melons
Even a cursory look at the data provided in the aforementioned table makes it quite evident that canary melons are free of unhealthy fat and cholesterol. This makes them a healthy option.
✦ One of the major health benefits of this fruit is that it is a good source of dietary fiber. More often than not, digestive problems such as indigestion or constipation arise when one's diet is poor or deficient in dietary fiber. Thus, including it in your diet is certainly a good idea.
✦ Being a good source of vitamin A, this fruit can help in keeping your eyes healthy. Moreover, it also contains carotenoids, which are also good for the eyes.
✦ Canary melons are a good source of vitamin C, which in turn is an antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals.
✦ Antioxidants present in this fruit also help in speeding up the process of tissue repair. Since vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, consumption of this fruit can help the skin heal faster.
✦ It is rich in potassium, which helps in keeping the sodium levels in check. Thus, it can be safely consumed by those who are affected by hypertension.
Things to Consider While Buying and Storing Canary Melons
✦ Make sure that you look for canary melons that are bright yellow in color. The brighter the peel, the riper the melon.
✦ Do not buy a melon that is sunken, spotted, or green in color.
✦ Don't buy a melon that has a rough stem end. The melon should be slightly soft at the stem end.
✦ In case of fruits that are harvested too early, there can be portions of stem remaining. These should not be bought.
✦ Store whole ripe or cut melons between 40°F and 45°F.
✦ Melons that are overripe or have been cut can be refrigerated up to 5 days.
✦ A cut melon will remain moist if the seeds are not removed.
A hundred gram serving of canary melon provides 34 calories, which makes it a low-calorie fruit. To add to that, this fruit is packed with dietary fiber, water, and immune-boosting phytonutrients. So, do include it in your diet to reap its benefits.