When it comes to melon varieties, the first distinction that comes to mind is that between summer melon e winter melon.
I Summer melons have cream to orange flesh intense while the outside can be more or less reticulated; they are on the market from May to October.
Winter melons, on the other hand, have light flesh and the exterior yellow or green; they are on the market starting from late spring but can be kept much longer, until December, and therefore are available on the market until autumn.
There are so many varieties of melon, here are some of the most common. The nutritional values are similar; all varieties of melon are mainly composed of water (about 90% of their weight), rich in minerals e low in calories.
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The netted melon can be recognized by the rind which is, in fact, reticulated. The pulp can be yellow or orange and is very aromatic.
It is also called American melon; it is in fact a very common variety in the USA. There is also a good production in the country. The varieties of netted melon are many and it is one summer melon.
It can weigh up to two and a half kilos and can be round or oval in shape.
A variety of netted melon quite common in the country is the Gaul. It is round in shape and typically weighs between a kilo and a kilo and a half. The peel has a marked netting, without ribs; the pulp is clear, creamy white, sweet and very tasty.
Cantaloupe melon is also one summer variety. It has a wrinkled skin, with shades ranging from green to yellow-orange and a bright orange pulp, very fragrant.
It has a rounded shape and is rather small in size, on average it weighs between a kilo and a kilo and a half.
It owes its name to Cantalupo, on the Roman hills, the place where the papal castle stands because during the Renaissance the peasants cultivated this variety of melon for the Pope.
It is grown all over the country, but mainly in Sicily. Other regions that have a good production are Puglia, Lazio, Emilia Romagna and Calabria.
The winter melon is called this not for the harvesting period, which still takes place in summer, but because, being a fruit that can be stored for a long time, it is usually eaten at the beginning of winter.
It has clearer, crisper and a little less sweet pulp than summer melons while the outside varies from yellow to green and can be more or less wrinkled. Its peculiar characteristic is to protect the very rich aroma inside, which is released only when the fruit is opened.
The winter melons are on average larger than the summer ones and can reach up to 4 kilos.
The varieties are many, among the best known:
> Giant of Naples, with a thin skin and very sweet pulp;
> Melon of Malta, with streaked pulp ranging in color from white to green;
> Morettino, with dark green pulp and whitish pulp.
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