By summer’s end, I’ve eaten a truckload’s worth of melons. When in season, cantaloupes, watermelons, Charentais, Crenshaw and Casabas are dreamy big geodes of flavor that I can’t resist. Sure, I grow my own melons, but in a Maritime Northwest climate it’s the gardening equivalent of Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football. I’m Charlie Brown, the climate is Lucy and a ripe melon, my elusive football. I continue to plant melon seeds and the climate continues to prove me a cockeyed optimist (or unteachable fool as the case may be). My melon fix comes from the farmers of Eastern Washington, a place where the sun likes to vacation.
After a recent trip to Yakima, I discovered the best tasting melon I’ve ever eaten, aforementioned varieties included. Aptly named Santa Claus, this melon offers up many gifts: great flavor, succulent texture, hefty size and an impressive shelf life. If you’ve never tried one, now’s the time as they’re in season. Expect a sugary sweetness that rivals the best watermelon, a creamy texture suggestive of the ripest honeydew and a flavor that can’t be described without a little swooning in the recap.
PS–And for the record, I did manage to grow some watermelons once upon a time. Here’s the proof.