Our summer is incomplete without eating the red, juicy, sweet watermelon or a piece of cantaloupe. So, of course, these two fruits come to mind when we hear the words melon. But did you know there are several more types of melons worldwide? Yes! Nearly 40 varieties of melons have been around for more than 4000 years. Melons come in varying sizes, shapes, colours, sweetness and textures belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family. We have curated a list of some popular kinds of melons you can find globally in this article. Read on!
What is a Melon? History:
Melons are fruits belonging to the gourd family, for example, muskmelon or watermelon. The first taste of melons was in the African continent, and its wild still has descendants of the first melons. It is believed that prehistoric people began cultivation by gathering and saving the seeds.
According to Archeological evidence in Egyptian tombs, there was evidence of melons cultivated 4000 years ago. However, after the ancient Egyptians, it took over 1000 years for the cultivation of melons to start in Russia, India, Iran, China, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
25 Popular Types Of Melons:
Here is the list of some of the popular types of melons available all around the world in detail:
Cantaloupe is a type of melon with a firmer and less meaty texture, unlike watermelon. Spring is the time when this melon is at its peak of deliciousness. When buying a cantaloupe, look for tan ones with light green lines and free of spots on the outside. Because cantaloupe can hold its shape and isn’t watery, many people love serving it with charcuterie meats and proteins.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis
Taste: Sweet, tender
2. Casaba Melon:
The casaba melon is part of the gourd family, along with cucumbers, which is why it looks closer to squash or a pumpkin than a watermelon. This melon is closely related to honeydew and cantaloupe and is a type of muskmelon. The casaba melon originated in Kasaba, Turkey, hence the name. You can consume them raw or use them in smoothies, soups, curries or sorbet.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. Inodorus ‘Golden Casaba’
Taste: Spicy, aromatic, slightly sweet.
You can easily recognize a Casabanana melon with its rinds of fiery magenta colours, and it reaches up to two feet in length. Shades of dark purple, yellow and orange are the other variations in this melon. However, there is primarily yellow and orange inside the Casabanana. You often notice an aroma before cutting into this fruit while the flesh is soft and sweet. Depending on its ripeness, this fruit can be eaten as a vegetable or fruit and is native to South America.
Scientific name: Sicanaodorifera.
Taste: It tastes like a cantaloupe with a hint of banana.
4. Charentais Melon:
Charentais melon is very noticeable and pleasant. The fragrance of this melon is one of the things that make this melon unique. Though this melon is being produced on a large scale in North Africa, its origins were in France in 1920. This fruit’s skin is of bright green colour with darker green stripes and a round shape; its flesh is bright orange.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis.
5. Crane Melon:
The crane melon was developed in the early 1900a in California and is one of the several heirloom melons of the place. These melons are highly aromatic, exceptionally sweet and juicy. The fruit also has notes of orange, rose and honey in its taste. This melon is known for its attractive orange flesh. Japanese, Persian and Ambrosian melons are among the varieties used to create the Crane melon, a hybrid.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var Oliver crane.
Taste: Exceptionally sweet.
6. Crenshaw Melon:
The Crenshaw melon is a types of melon hybrid of the Latin Melo. Its flesh is orange in colour, which is very juicy and sweet. The Crenshaw Melon has yellow-green skin with an avoid shape bearing sweet, floral and vegetal aroma. These melons have subtle spice-forward nuances and mild, sweet and floral flavour. The melons, on average, weigh 8 to 10 pounds.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. inodorous.
Taste: Sweet and mild.
7. Galia Melons:
Galia melons are hybrid melons and are called Sarda in Southeast Asia. Although these melons’ origin is in Isreal, these fruits are now available in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Pakistan and Portugal. Galia melons have a wonderfully sweet taste and are very round in shape. It is a popular choice among melon lovers because of its aromatic flavour. This melon’s flesh is light green and white, while it has beautiful yellow skin.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. reticulatus.
Taste: Delicious and sweet flavour.
8. Gac Melon:
Gac melon is like a cross between cantaloupe and avocado, giving the fruit its unique flavour. This fruit is primarily grown in Northern Australia and Southeast Asia. The gac melon outside has orange-brown, spiky, dimpled skin with a vibrant red hue for the flesh. This melon is often used in stews, soups, curries and rice dishes because of its lack of sweetness and mellow taste.
Scientific name: Momordica cochinchinensis
Taste: Buttery, mild
9. Golden Langkawi Melon:
The Golden Langkawi melon can weigh roughly six pounds from the Langkawi section of Malaysia, hence the name. These melons are golden in colour with smoother skin, whereas other types of melons have webbed skin. This melon is high in sugar and water, crunchy and slightly elliptical in shape. The Golden Langkawi melon is a perfect type to consider planting if you love melons but have limited space in your garden.
Although they look like tiny, grape-sized watermelons, with a closer look, you will be able to see that the cucamelons are close to cucumbers with an acidic punch. Similar to standard cucumbers, these melons are commonly pickles called Mexican sour gherkins. Native to Mexico and Central America, the Cucamelon is a fascinating fruit with slight sweetness and tartness.
Scientific name: Melothriascabra.
Taste: Refreshing, sour, mildly sweet.
11. Golden Prize Melon:
The Golden prize melon has a little rough and bright yellow colour skin and is a slightly elliptical shape. This melon tastes very sweet and has orange-coloured flesh. In addition, this melon has a somewhat thick skin and has both a succulent and crunchy texture. You can keep the Golden prize melon for longer before eating it because of its thick skin.
Taste: Very sweet.
12. Hami Melon:
Hami melon originates from the Hami part of Xinjiang, hence the name. It is a types of Cantaloupe melons and looks similar to one. This melon has a sweet and crispy flavour with white or yellow-green skin. Both aesthetically and tastewise, this fruit is an absolute delight. This melon has over 100 hybrids and cultivated forms and is also called the Chinese Hami melon or snow melon.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo ‘Hami melon’.
13. Honey Globe Melon:
The honey globe melon is challenging because of the short harvesting period, similar to the Crane melon. It has a thick white or white and green striped rind and is one of the sweetest melons. The round shape of these melons gives them the name Honey globe. This fruit is filled with natural sugar up to 19% of its weight with watery and thick flesh and is very sweet. This melon has a short harvest time and has chewable and tender meat.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. Inodorus ‘Honey Globe’
Taste: Very sweet, soft, juicy
14. Honeydew Melon:
The honeydew melon is wildly underrated, which is in season from June through October. The fruit’s rind is a creamy yellow colour and is smooth or waxy to the touch when it is ripe, while the bottom feels a bit springy. This melon is round or oval in shape that grows from three pounds to just under nine pounds. You can add this melon to salads, frozen yoghurt, smoothies and even cocktails because it offers light sweetness.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo L. ‘Honey Dew.’
Taste: Light, slightly sweet, mild
15. Horned Melon:
The Horned melon gets its name from the horned skin and sticks with you in the memory. This melon tastes like a combination of zucchini and cucumber, tart. The Horned melon is one of the most attractive and weird-looking melons on the market, with yellowish-orange coloured skin and lime green flesh. It is also one of the delicious melons out there.
Scientific name: Cucumis metuliferus.
Taste: Mild and slightly sweet.
Read Also: Cucumbers Varieties in the World
16. Jade Dew Melon:
Jade dew melon is greenish-white in colour, hence the name. It is a delicious melon type with a sweet, crunchy taste and pale-yellowish flesh. This oval-shaped melon has a pale semi-webbed rind covering its tasty meat, and this fruit is medium-sized. The Jade Dew melon has a distinct crunch once you bote into its flesh, unlike some types of cantaloupes.
17. Kantola Melon:
Kantola melon is the gourd family’s part, also called spiny gourd or a thumba. This melon has many commercial appeals and is eaten as a vegetable. It is prevalent in India and areas of South Asia. This melon is used locally and is exported internationally. It is sometimes eaten with meat or fish when cooked with spices or fried.
Scientific name: Momordica dioica.
18. Korean Melon:
The Korean melon is a group of Cucumis melo cultivars cultivated in East Asia, also called the Oriental melon. The melon originated in eastern India, spreading to China over the Silk road according to its genetic lineage. It was later introduced to Japan and Korea. The melon is unique, along with white flesh and bright yellow skin with white lines along its length. Korean melon is a popular type of fruit, though they are smaller than other melon types.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. makuwa.
Taste: Subtly sweet.
19. Maroon Cucumber:
The Maroon cucumber is an ovoid-shaped fruit that grows on a thin vine, though many think it is a vegetable. This melon is cultivated in many parts of the world, though it originates from Africa. The Maroon cucumber is more miniature compared to regular cucumbers with green colour flesh. It is also called bur gherkin, west Indian gourd or gooseberry gourd. This melon is a hot favourite among people who love fruits and vegetables with thick skin, spines and long hair.
Scientific name: Cucumis anguria.
Taste: Similar to common cucumber.
20. Santa Claus Melon:
The Santa Claus melon has its homeland in Spain. This melon has a dark green, stripy rind which is why it gets the name “Piel de Sapo”, meaning “toad skin.”This versatile type of melon is as sweet as cantaloupe and has an elongated shape with seeds inside it. This is a very versatile type of melon because you can eat it for all three meals.
Scientific name: Cucumis melo var. Inodorous ‘Sancho’
Taste: Sweet, mild, slightly earthy
21. Sprite Melon:
The sprite melon has a round shape and seeds on the inside, which looks similar to a cantaloupe which originated in Japan. The Sprite melon’s skin is ivory which, when it ripens, develops brown markings. This melon is 35% sweeter than any other melon making it the world’s most popular variety for people. Sprite melon is extensively cultivated in North Carolina currently. It is one of the tiniest melons, with an approximate grapefruit size.
22. Ten Me Melon:
Ten Me Melon is one of the highest quality melons and the most expensive type available. This melon is very fragrant, extremely sweet, and thick but tender. The melon is smooth and webbed, with whitish skin, sometimes yellow. This is one of the melons you will want to try at some point in your lifetime, irrespective of its cost.
Taste: Extremely sweet.
23. Valencia Melon:
The Valencia melon makes for excellent long storage periods because of its deep, green outer shell. The characteristic feature of these types of melons is their elongated oval form and thick dark skin. Originating from Spain, this melon is juicy, sweet, extremely pleasant to eat and has delicate flesh. This melon is an ideal type for cooking and is low in acidity.
Scientific name: melo var. inodorus.
Taste: Sweet and low in acidity.
Watermelon is a popular summer fruit that tastes the sweetest and the best. It is a flowering plant species of the family Cucurbitaceae. It is an edible fruit that is highly cultivated worldwide with over 1000 varieties. From tropical to temperate regions are the favourable climate to grow this large edible fruit. It is also botanically called a pepo, a berry with a hard rind and no internal divisions. There is usually deep red to juicy pink flesh with many black seeds. Though there are some seedless varieties available globally. You can either pickle the fruit or eat it raw. You can also cook the rind because it is edible.
Scientific name: Citrullus lanatus.
Taste: Sweet, refreshing, juicy
Read Also: Watermelon Health Benefits
25. Winter Melon:
Despite being harvested during the summer, the long shelf life is why the Winter melon gets its name. It also has waxy skin, which is durable. This types of melons is often used in soups, stir-fries and stews because its flavour is very mild. It is also called Chinese pickling melon because it is also famous for candy or preserving it. Cultivated in the Southern and Eastern parts of Asia, the Winter melon originated in Southeast Asia. Its shape is similar to eggplant and grows to over 30 inches in length. It is commonly eaten as a vegetable and not fruit during winter.
Scientific name: Benincasahispida
Taste: Vegetal, refreshing, slightly grassy
Interesting facts about Melons:
Here are some facts about melons you might find interesting:
- The month of July is celebrated as the national watermelon month in the United States of America.
- Compared to any other types of melons, Americans eat watermelons the most.
- Watermelons come under the category of both fruit and vegetable.
- Since 2000 B.C., Ancient Egyptians have cultivated melons.
- Spanish settlers introduced melons to America during the 1400s and 1500sand used melons as canteens.
- Cantaloupes were developed in Italy in Cantalup in the 1700s, a couple of centuries later, hence the name.
- Before they can be picked, Cantaloupes need to grow for three to four months, and these fruits will not continue to ripen once they are picked.
- Squash and cucumbers are closely related to melons.
- Yubari King melons are the most expensive types of melons grown in Japan. These melons are sold for more than $20,000 for two to three.
Now that you have all the detailed information regarding the different types of melons, we hope you will try all of them as you get a chance. You can also grow them at home to enjoy sweet and ripe melons all year long once you choose. Don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!
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