Wednesday, August 09, 2006

French melons

The French charentais melon is sublime. I remember it fondly from a trip I took to France in 1976. Since I have been in Paris this trip I have always had one ripening on the counter and one in the fridge. I have seen it listed at market as Charentais, Cavaillon, “La Tranche de Miel” [slice of honey], and Melon de Lectoure.

Its flavor so outdoes the taste of a cantaloupe that there really is no comparison. The price will range from 2.00 Euro to 4.50 Euro for a single melon. There is very little variation in flavor, though I give the edge to a “tranche de miel” I tried early in the visit.

I have tried to grow these melons in my humid, coastal New England climate to no avail. My season is too short and I need more dry heat like I would find in Provence. While I can’t change the humidity, I ran across an interesting solution to the length of growing season the other day at the Jardin des Plantes.

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