Melons in Provence
One of the glories of Provence is the Cavaillon melon (also known as Cantaloup or Charentin). With its green skin and orange flesh, this intensely sweet and juicy fruit speaks of the 300 days of sunshine the region receives in a year.
The Cavaillon melon's growing period is long – from May to September – and it is picked by hand so as not to damage it. You will find it everywhere – markets, roadside stalls, stores – but you may not be sure how to pick one that is perfect for eating.
How to tell if a melon is ready to eat? You can smell the ‘navel’, it should have a strong melon smell, but those in the know say that is not enough. The melon should also be comparatively heavy for its size, as it weighs more when it is full of sugar and therefore ripe. And another sign is if there are cracks around the little stem, and the stem is ready to come off.
At a market, stall or greengrocer, you can ask for a melon that is ready to eat today, or tomorrow, or the next day.
Pernes les Fontaines: 15 July 2012
Caderousse: 7-8 July 2012
MELON RESTAURANTPrevot in Cavaillon is a fine restaurant whose chef has an abiding passion for the melon of his hometown. His menus in summer are filled with surprising new combinations – who knew that lobster and melon could be so delicious?
353 Avenue de Verdun
Tel: 04 90 71 32 43