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The orange flesh honeydew melon is a varietal of honeydew melon which has been bred to be especially flavorful and juicy. These melons may look like cantaloupes at first glance when sliced, but they do not have the netted skin of the classical cantaloupe, and the flavor resembles that of a honeydew melon, not a cantaloupe. These melons are in season from May through October, and they can be found at farmers' markets and many grocery stores while in season. They can also be grown at home if you live in USDA Zone four or warmer.
This melon is a hybrid of the cantaloupe and honeydew melon varieties, retaining some of the characteristics of both. As you might imagine, the distinctive feature of the orange flesh honeydew is the creamy orange flesh. These melons are also very sweet and juicy with a creamy taste when they have been well selected, and they can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from fruit salads to melon sorbet.
When well ripened, an orange flesh honeydew has a thick pale yellow to orange rind which is extremely smooth, with a waxy texture. Around the stem end, the melon should be a little bit soft, and the melon should feel heavy for its size. A bad melon will have spots of discoloration or soft depressions in areas other the stem end, and it should be avoided, unless the discoloration is obviously from the spot where the melon rested on the ground during the ripening process.
When cut open, the rich orange color of the orange flesh honeydew melon should stand out, along with the heady aroma. Like many melons, it develops seeds in a cavity in the middle of the melon, making it very easy for consumers to scoop them out and discard them, although they can also be saved to cultivate melons in the garden.
You may also see the orange flesh honeydew labeled as a “temptation melon.” Many people feel that this melon variety is among the finest available, with a rich, complex flavor and crisp, juicy flesh. In addition to being eaten out of hand, this melon can also be grilled, wrapped in various substances as an appetizer, or used to garnish fruit tarts and other desserts. Remember to refrigerate the melon after it has been opened to keep it in good condition, and try to eat it within a few days.