Snow Leopard Melons from Chino Farms ($3/pound)
Snow leopard melons have such a pretty and unusual variegated exterior, but for all their showy green on creamy white patterns, they are, simply, a delicious petite honeydew variety. I found these for $3 a pound at Chino Farms. They’re sweet but the white flesh has a firmer texture than a regular green-flesh honeydew. I think they’re lovely eaten simply with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, wrapped with prosciutto, or on a fruit salad skewer.
So, how do you pick a great ripe honeydew melon? First, smell the fruit at the blossom end. It should have a strong sweet scent at room temperature. Are you a melon tapper? If so, listen for a dull thump. And, honeydews tend to have a rattle from loose seeds when they’re ripe.
Chino Farms is located at 6123 Calzada del Bosque (off Via de la Valle) in Rancho Santa Fe. The sign says The Vegetable Shop.
Photo by Caron Golden