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PEAK SEASON: BRAZILIAN “GOLDEN CANARY” MELONS

Are you tired of the same old cantaloupes and honeydews? For melon lovers looking for something a little different, a canary melon may be just the thing. It is a large and brightly colored oval-shaped melon that is often slightly larger than cantaloupes or honeydew melons. This variety is grown by Itaueira farms in Northeastern Brazil with a growing season starting in November and continuing through the winter months. The melon is characterized by a bright yellow outer skin. The interior is usually a green that is slightly paler than honeydew, and in some cases, it may appear to be almost white with just a hint of green. With a light, pleasing aroma, the canary is very juicy and has a tendency to enhance the taste of other fruits when mixed into fruit salads.

Since 1983, Itaueira Farms has been focused on growing top-quality fruits. The company, which is owned and operated by the Carlos Prado and his family, sells melons year round in Brazil and exports product to the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Along with earning consumer confidence in the flavor and quality of its melons, Itaueira also strives to earn the trust of its customers with regard to food safety, according to Rodrigo Lima of Crown International USA LLC, which markets the melons in the United States for Itaueira Farms. Mr. Lima says that “REI” canary melons have traceability on the box level and will soon have traceability on the item level: “We have been experimenting with stickering each piece of fruit with bar codes that are fully traceable, and we have seen great success with that in Brazil. We plan to begin testing that here in the U.S.”

What to look for in Canary Melons

When choosing a good quality canary melon, consumers should make sure the body of the melon is firm. The presence of any soft spots along the body is an indication that the melon has passed its prime, but it should be slightly soft around the stem area. If the stem area is still firm, then the melon is not yet ripe enough to be eaten.

Along with the general firmness of the melon, shoppers should play close attention to the color of the rind or skin. A ripe canary melon will be bright yellow with few or no blemishes. Shoppers must be sure to check closely for hints of green on the skin, which will indicate that the melon was picked early and will need to ripen before it will be ready to eat. The sweet flavor will not be fully developed until the ripening is complete, so there is no point in choosing a green melon if it will be chilled and served the same day.

Foodie Facts & Tips

  • As with most melons, the canary melon is packed with vitamins including A & C—a sweet snack that’s actually good for you!
  • Each box displays a Field harvest code number, which can be traced to the origin of each melon crop.
  • Try wrapping canary melons with salty prosciutto for a complementary flavor duo.

 

 

 

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