FRUITS YOU SHOULD EAT IN JAPAN: MELON

 

Melons are well drained fruit, grown in temperate areas throughout the year due to the large temperature difference between day and night. The inside is soft and has a mellow sweetness. It is called the “king of fruits”.

1. The Feature of Japanese Melons

Melon field_melon_fruits

Melon field

Japanese melons are divided into three categories, based on the inside color.

Melons with orange-colored flesh are called “red meat type” in Japanese, have a strong smell and a rich sweetness. There is a brand called “Yubari melon”which comes from Yubari City in Hokkaido which has a more solid texture and mouthfeel, and also a “Quincy melon” which is characterized by a deep sweetness.

Among the “green meat type” melons, there is “Earls melon”, which is havested in the autumn, and has a yellow-green color. There is a also a type of Earls melon called “mask melon”, which is the luxury version and is very expensive. These melons are grown in glass greenhouses with high solar radiation transmittance, and cultivated under strict temperature and humidity regulations. It takes about 100 days to grow them, from planting to cultivation. Also,  only one melon grows on one tree so the sweetness and nutrition are condensed because the melons are cultivated to only grow one per tree. This can be very handy for cultivation, so the melons are often sold as luxury goods or for gifts.

Another type of “green meat type” melon is the “Andes melon. The price is reasonable and the taste and smell is close to Earls melon, so it is a popular melon in Japan.

Among the “white meat type” melons, there is a melon called the Home Run melon, which has a milky color. It has a smooth and elegant sweetness, and the scent is not overpowering.

In this way, many varieties of melons have been produced in Japan, and cultivation methods have been improved and created over the years. Japanese melons currently boast the world’s best quality with both name and reality.

mask melon_melon_fruits

Mask Melon

Yubari Melon_melon_fruits

Yubari Melon

2. The Best Season and Production Areas

Greenhouse cultured melons are grown above ground and are harvested throughout the year from April to September.

Regions famous for melons are Ibaraki, Hokkaido, Kumamoto, and more.

3. How to eat Japanese Melons in Japan

Melon is commonly eaten raw and chilled. It is cut up and used for desserts such as sherbet, ice cream, or jelly.  Raw ham and melon is a popular hors d’oeuvres in Italian cuisine. Another way of serving is to cut the upper part of the melon (about 1/3), remove the inner seeds with a spoon and add brandy to make “Brandy melon”, which has a luxurious taste.  In addition, melons can be pickled by using immature melons that have only a little sweetness  by adding salt to the skin. This is a unique way to eat found only in Japan.

Melon Jelly_melon_jelly_fruits

Melon Jelly

Melon Parfait_melon_parfait_fruits

Melon fait

Fruit Punch_melon_fruits

Fruit Punch

Prosciutto and Melon_prosciutto_melon_fruits

Prosciutto and Melon

Pickled Melon_pickled_melon_fruits_japanese pickled

Pickled Melon

4. Event Related to Japanese Melons

There are some events related to Japanese Melons in production areas.

“ Ibaraki Melon Melon Run”(Melon Run Committee )