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Sonoma County Gazette

Marvelous Melons

Aug 2, 2018


By Kelly Smith

Melon season is really when I feel summer is in full swing. As I walk the aisles of the farmers’ market and the undeniable smell of melon is in the air I am in heaven. As I child I loved using a melon baller to eat the interior flesh of a cantaloupe. In all honesty, this is still the way I prefer to eat the sweet flesh of any melon.

The fruit of the melon plant comes from the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. It has a round fruit occupied by many small seeds at its center with a fleshy mesocarp. It varies in color from red to green to orange or even yellow.

Mostly, melons are made of water, approximately 90% of the fruit is water and there is virtually no fat, making it the perfect dessert on a hot summer day. The sugar content is only 5.4%, unlike many other fruits. They actually contain almost 1% protein. They are rich in vitamins including C and some B groups. Minerals stored in melons are Magnesium, Potassium, and iron. A 5 lb melon can offer an adult a daily dose of iron and half the recommended dietary allowance of magnesium.

If that wasn’t enough to make you want to hunt the perfect melon, here are some other reasons. Melons are great to aid in eliminating dehydration, constipation, urinary conditions, such as infections and assists in aiding with filtration in the kidneys. Also eating melon can help offset the early stages of kidney failure.

Watermelons originated in West Africa and were found to be eaten during the Roman Empire. Other than that there really isn’t much more interesting history on melons. Much to my dismay. I was looking forward to hearing how they may have been used for romance, sword fights or something else with a little more color. Even if the melon has a lackluster history I am still happy to eat melon during the peak of summer. You can find them now at the farmers’ markets in your area. Pick them by their smell and softness at the ends if choosing a honeydew or cantaloupe. For watermelons, it is all about the tapping according to most farmers.

Easy Skewered Cantaloupe


1 cantaloupe - peeled, seeded, and cubed

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves



Preheat grill for medium heat.

Thread the cantaloupe chunks onto 4 skewers. In a small saucepan, heat butter with honey until melted. Stir in mint. Brush cantaloupe with honey mixture.

Lightly oil grate. Grill skewers 4 to 6 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Serve with remaining sauce.


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