“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe…”
– Evelyn Waugh

One of the fruits that has captured the attention of kitchens and gardens everywhere is the muskmelon. This fruit is sure to impress, unlike some other trendy foods that have been the center of attention in the past. This fruit has the exotic allure of a cantaloupe and offers sweet and juicy flavors that we’re excited to have fun with in our favorite dishes. One bite of its colorful orange flesh is enough to get you hooked. They’re also easy to grow under the right conditions, meaning that you can capture this fun, delicious, and popular treat right at home.

canteloupe sliced on cutting board

History of Muskmelons

Most of us haven’t even heard of muskmelons until recently, but they’re actually nothing new. These fruits have been around for thousands of years, and may even have been a possible hit with ancient Egyptians in 2400 B.C.E. We only have a drawing of the melons from the Egyptians, so we can’t say for sure. We do have clear records of the Greeks enjoying it’s delicious flavors in 300 B.C.E., though. Its popularity is clear in its increasing mention throughout history, where people across Asia and Europe praised it for its delightful flavor and medicinal properties. In the late 15th century, the muskmelon made its debut here in North America when none other than Christopher Columbus brought some seeds over.

While it’s had a track record of popularity everywhere it goes, it seems that the melon first appeared in ancient Persia (today’s Iran). Its name – muskmelon – actually comes from the Persian word for perfume, which celebrates its sweet aroma.

Muskmelon growing on vines

Health Benefits

It’s not very common that something that tastes this good can actually be good for you. They taste like natural candy and, as with many of the trendiest foods, a quick google search will show a lot of buzz about them being the “one hit wonders” of the nutrition world. There are lots of bold claims across the internet about their abilities to generate hair regrowth, manage diabetes, or even encourage weight loss. The muskmelon is likely not the cure-all that the sensation might claim, they do have some amazing nutritional benefits that can be a great addition to your dinner table:

  • This fruit is rich in potassium, which can help to regulate blood pressure
  • Muskmelons are high in vitamins A and C, which are helpful in strengthening your eye muscles and immune system
  • They are low in sugar, which is an especially tasty bonus given how delicious and sweet they taste. You can enjoy their delicious flavor without a sugar overload.
  • Muskmelons contain lots of water so you can enjoy their juicy fruit while getting hydrated – the perfect snack on a hot day
  • They are full of fibre, which can help with digestion

Growing Your Own

Muskmelons enjoy all the sun that they can get to have the energy to make their delicious fruits. Pick a full-sun location that has rich and well-draining soil. They’ll devour all the nutrients that they can get, so adding some compost while planting is a great way to start them right. To keep the soil warm, try starting their seeds in raised rows.

When your muskmelons start to show vines, they’ll want another nutrition boost with all-purpose fertilizer and weekly watering to get the tasty, nutritious, and juicy fruit that you want. Finding the right amount of water will help you get a tasty fruit that is the right amount of juicy without being watery.

Feel how heavy your garden muskmelon is when it’s time to pick. Give the fruit a little knock and listen to see if its ready – you don’t want it to sound hollow. With a gentle tug, the melon should come off the vine easily. Too much effort to pull it and it isn’t ready yet, but if it’s falling off the vine, it might be overripe.

Muskmelon wrapped in prosciutto dish

Muskmelons are the next level of fresh, fruity flavor this summer. As you bite into this delicious fruit, you can practically taste all the sunshine that went into growing it. There are so many ways to enjoy your delicious muskmelons this summer. Try pureeing it with lime and mint for a summer soup or combine it with onion, cilantro and lime for a tasty fruit salsa. Muskmelons are great on a kebab, in a salad, or even wrapped up in a prosciutto blanket for an Italian treat. No matter how you choose to enjoy your muskmelon, you’ll love the sweet flavor that it adds to your summer dishes.

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