melão pele de sapo

by Stevie on March 9, 2010

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I’ve been putting off writing about the “toad skin” melon since we got back from Brazil a few weeks ago as I’ve been trying to figure out what we’d call it in the U.S. No such luck. According to the Cambridge history of the world of food, there are hundreds and hundreds of kinds of melon: so sort of hard to know if there is even an equivalent one here.

melão pele de sapo

melão pele de sapo

Hegui was convinced that he’d seen melão pele de sapo in San Francisco markets under another name. I’d never really paid attention before. But now I’m intrigued so will search for it as we roll into summer.

That Cambridge story is pretty informative. I didn’t realize that melons were thought to originally come from Africa, for example. And though I’d always considered melons and watermelons related, I’d never considered placing cucumbers in the same group. Did you know that in times past, melons were considered status symbols in northern Europe due to the difficulty and expense of their production? Me neither! The story even alludes to their symbolic sexual meanings in literature and culture. To borrow a phrase from someone I know, “Interesting!”

I'd never really thought about it much but melons do have sexual meanings, don't they?

Our melon had a green striped skin that kind of looked like toad skin. Weird how the name of the fruit does make sense, yet it puts me off as something to eat. Doesn’t ‘toad skin’ sound just dreadful for breakfast?

The flesh was a pale greenish, yellowish white. I thought that it tasted like honeydew and was “subtle.” Hegui was more blunt: he said it was “boring.” Perhaps it wasn’t quite ripe enough? We’d just finished eating these super sweet almost over-ripe mangos, which might have clouded our judgment on the melon.

melão pele de sapo flesh

melão pele de sapo slices

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Chris October 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I came across this post while searching for the name of this melon in English and I just wanted to let you know that I discovered what it’s called, in case you’re still interested. “Santa Claus melon” or sometimes “Christmas melon” or maybe even rarer.. “camouflage melon”. You might even see it under the Spanish name, “Piel de sapo”. It’s very closely related to it’s yellow cousin, known as “amarillo” or canary melon.

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