Hello, I’m so glad you’ve found your way to our site. We just love company. Now, you’re here let me tell you our story. Don’t we just have the best name - honeydew - it conjures up an image of sweet juiciness which, of course, describes us perfectly. We’ve been a favourite of humans since ancient times and were considered a sacred food by the Egyptians. Cleopatra adored us, Pope Paul II wouldn’t travel far without us, and we were Napoleon’s and Josephine’s favourite food. In those days we were reserved only for the elite of society but, fortunately, these days cultivation has meant that everyone can enjoy us.
We have smooth, white or yellow skin with pale green to green flesh. We’re about 15-20cm in diameter, and round to oval in shape. Our flesh, contained by the thin, firm skin or rind, is moist, sweet and succulent with seeds in the centre.
We’re available all year round with our peak from January to February.
Did you know?
• In America they have crossed us with a rockmelon to create a Honeyrock melon.
We’re sold by colour rather than variety although the term Honey Dew is a varietal name.
||White honeydew melons (Honey Dew, Honey Dew Green Fresh)
We have smooth white skin and green flesh.
||Yellow honeydew melons (Honey Dew Gold Rind)
We have yellow to gold skin and green flesh.
Why Honeydew is Good To Eat
• We’re a variety of winter melon and we come with either a white or yellow skin. White skinned honeydews are sweeter – with more natural sugars than watermelon. Yellow skinned honeydew has less sugar so it’s great to have in savoury dishes.
• When our flesh is fully ripe and a rich green colour, we are sweeter (the stem end will give a little when ripe but it is not easy to tell when we’re at our peak).
• We’re a good source of vitamin C and also supply small quantities of other vitamins and minerals, including potassium and we also have dietary fibre.
• 100g of flesh has 105 kJ (yellow skin) or 150 kJ (white skin).
How They are Grown and Harvested
We like to grow in a hot dry climate and grow on vines along the ground. We belong to the melon family and are related to pumpkins, squash and cucumbers. Our parent plant has large, hairy, green-lobed leaves which are rough to the touch. We grow on long stems arising from the trailing main stem.
Yellow male and female flowers are produced on the same vine and following fertilisation the female flower produces the fruit or melon. We’re harvested when ripe.
Select those of us with clean, creamy or pale green rind and a sweet melon aroma. If we’re juicy we’ll feel heavy for our size.
How to Keep Honeydew
We don’t ripen after harvesting. Store us at room temperature. Once cut, cover and refrigerate.
Prime Growing Areas
History of Honeydew
Our exact origins are obscure but we’re believed to be a native of Asia. Cultivated in the Middle East since ancient times, we did not appear in Europe until the late 15th or early 16th century. We’re winter melons and grown in glasshouses in colder climates. We’ve become popular not only for our great taste but also because we can be stored for several weeks.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook Honeydew Melons
We’re best eaten raw although we can also be baked. We’re refreshing served chilled simply on our own or in fruit salad, sorbet, ice cream, seafood salad and we make a great chilled soup.
Cut in half and remove seeds. Flesh can be chopped or melon balled and put back into shell for serving or skin removed and flesh diced or sliced.
Try some of these other ideas.
Honeydew And Smoked Chicken Salad
Halve melon and scoop out flesh with a melon baller for fancy shape or simply dice, reserving shell. Mix with diced smoked chicken, celery, apple, shallots and mix with mayonnaise. Put salad in shell and serve with chopped pecans and chopped dill.
Cut melon into 12mm cubes. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Put in freezer bag and freeze. Puree until fluffy and serve immediately in tall glasses garnished with mint.
Honeydew And Ham Roll
Lay slices of ham flat. Spread a thin layer of mustard on top, then a teaspoon of grated tasty or blue vein cheese and a thin slice of melon. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Serve garnished with fresh dill.