Last weekend at the Farmers Market I was given a canary melon, and I will be honest with you, even though I am a chef, I have never tasted it. So I was really curious about that melon I haven’t eaten before; I was curious about the texture, flavor, and health benefits of it. I got to work to see how I could incorporate this new ingredient into my menu for the week. I really like the idea of mixing sweet and spicy so I decided to make a spicy melon salsa to top my flaky pan seared blackened cod. I really enjoyed the way the sweetness of the melon played off of the spice from the Serrano pepper in the salsa and the melon had a fresh, cooling effect next to the piquant blackened cod!
Here are the highlights that I found out about the melon:
- The name comes from its bright yellow color, which resembles that of the Canary Islands. You will find that this melon is often marketed as the Juan Canary melon and can be found in various sizes and shapes. This melon is commonly found in parts of Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Morocco.
- Canary melons are an excellent source of fiber, with 10 grams per 1/2-cup serving.
- Canary melons are high in vitamin C, meeting 50 percent of the daily value.
- In addition to being a good source of vitamin C, canary melons are also rich in vitamin A. A 1/2-cup serving meets 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin A. You need adequate intake of vitamin A for eye health.
It’s amazing all the cool ingredients that you can find at your local farmers market to create a seasonal meal. With a little bit more research, you can find out the fun facts about that specific ingredient and be surprised of all the natural ways you are nourishing your body by just eating what’s in season.
I challenge you this month to go to your local farmer market and create at least one meal a week with your local seasonal ingredients.