The word “melon” can refer to different edible fruits. To botanists, it indicates hundreds of plants in different genera of the Cucurbitaceae family from musk melon, cantaloupe and watermelon to oriental pickling and preserving melon, Hami and Kolkhoznitsa melon. If you have never tried melon and have no idea what its flavour is like, the best descriptors would be air, honey, pie, smooth, floral, cognac, fresh and sweet of course.
Melons are highly prized for their sweetness and juiciness, some are sold for an insane amount of money, like famous Japanese Yubari Kings. These cultivars from Yubari (a small town on Hokkaido island) are among the top-grade melons with a perfectly smooth rind and the right amount of sweetness. It means that not only inadequately sweet fruits will be rejected by the judges but also overly sweet varieties too. The right mellowness is what every melon-lover seeks in this fruit.
Accompanied by a rich fragrance and succulent flesh, every good melon is a true summer revelation without a doubt. It seems to us that most of us are more accustomed to eating melon as a cool sweet treat right from the hands or sliced and plated with some prosciutto crudo or brie or mozzarella cheese. And that’s perfectly great for starters.
But have you ever thought of serving cold melon soup? Bright, acidic, colourful, playful, downright outstanding, it can be served as a starter or as a first course during summer outdoor activities. For 6 servings you would need 6 cups of honeydew melon or cantaloupe (or take 3 cups of each for a more faceted flavour), 500 ml of fresh orange juice, 250 ml of chardonnay, 125 ml of fresh lime juice, 25 gr of sugar, ⅛ tsp of ground cardamom. Place everything in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into plates, garnish with melon brunoise (fine dice of 3 mm / ⅛ inch) and rich balsamic vinegar and serve immediately or cool at first.
Melon soups can be warm too. Take 6 persimmons, half of a large cantaloupe (slice the other half into chunks), 250 ml of soy milk, 1 tsp of grated ginger and ½ tsp of ground cardamom and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth and transfer to a large saucepan, cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Dissolve 1 tsp of starch in 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and stir into the soup. Stir until it thickens, add 2 Tbsp of honey and chunks of melon. Remove from heat and serve. Surely, you can wait until it cools and serve it from the fridge. Because you are the true magellan of your honeydew melon.