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Botanical name: Cucumis melo



Melons belong to the vegetables, since they are the products of annual plants. We eat them as fruit, however, and they are often referred to as such.

The melon probably originated in Africa, and in time it spread over the entire world. Today melons are grown worldwide, in the tropics as well as in temperate climates.


Melons can be bought all year round, but they are in abundance between June and September. On a smaller scale they are also grown in Germany, in a few climatically favourable regions.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

There are many different varieties and types of melon. Their classification may be according to differing criteria and is often inconsistent. The main groups listed below also contain different types.


* Cantaloupe melons (Cucumis melo var. cantaloupensis)


This melon takes its name from the Italian city Cantalupa, where it is grown.


- round, ellipsoid
- relatively small
- more or less ribbed, champagne-coloured skin with green stripes from end to end
- bright orange, apricot-coloured flesh


Taste and smell:
- intensely aromatic flavour
- pleasantly intensive smell


* Galia melons (Cucumis melo var.)


Belong to the group of netted melons.





* Netted melons (Cucumis melo var. reticulates)


- round to oval, flattened shape
- medium sized
- green or orange skin
- whitish light-brown corklike net covers the skin
- orange to green flesh


Taste and smell:
- distinctive aroma – intensive smell


* HonigmeloneHoneydew, casaba or winter melon (Cucumis melo var. indorus)


- oval shape
- large
- firm, smooth, yellow skin (the casaba is longitudinally ribbed)
- light green or creamy white flesh


Taste and smell:
- sweet, more or less aromatic flavour
- exudes no smell even when ripe


Read more about honeydew melon under Fruits.



Considerable amounts of vitamin C and provitamin A are found in melons. The carotenoid content varies greatly with the type and colour of the flesh.

100 g contain:

Energie (kcal)
Wasser (g)
Eiweiß (g)
Fett (g)
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
Ballaststoffe (g)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
Carotin (mg)
Folsäure (µg)
Kalium (mg)
Natrium (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Magnesium (mg)
Eisen (mg)

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Melons continue to ripen after they are harvested, but they do not become any sweeter; the flesh simply becomes softer and juicier. Unfortunately, melons are often harvested before they reach maturity, so that they can be transported. However, such melons are lacking in flavour. It isn't always possible to judge how a melon will taste from its outer appearance, and this makes buying a melon something of a gamble.

The refrigerator is a suitable place to keep a melon. Ripe melons should be used quickly.

The skin and the seeds are not edible.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Melons taste excellent when they are eaten well-cooled and without any additions. They make a pleasant refreshment on hot summer days because of their high water content. It looks nice if you hollow out a melon and prepare a fruit salad in its shell. Or you can make melon balls using a special scoop. These are good as decoration or added to a summer wine punch.

Melons are popular not only as a dessert but also as an appetizer. They make a good first course served with prosciutto or Black Forest ham, or with chicken or shrimp salad. Melon can also be candied, pickled sweet-sour, or made into ice cream or jam.

Seasoning tip

Pepper and ginger go well with melon.





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