The best melons I've had this summer were two types of melons I've never heard of or laid eyes on before. One was called Snow Leopard. It was a small melon as melons go, strictly a two-person kind of melon (that is if you're kind enough to share after finding out how fantastic it is), oblong in shape, with a shiny smooth snow white exterior with just a few, random grass-green streaks of color on it. Inside? Snow white again. Flavor not dissimilar to honeydew but super sweet with notes of honey and orange blossom. I bought it somewhere in Seattle the week our cat had surgery and we were shopping in all kinds of unlikely places, and all I remember about where that was was that they only had two. Is it rare then? I don't know. But to my chagrin I've not been able to find it again since. If anyone else finds one, BUY.
Then last week at the Food Co-op in Mt. Vernon I bought a locally gorwn, strange-looking melon called a Petit Gris. It's cantaloupe sized but heavy, winter squash shaped, sitting squat with a flatter bottom than shoulders--looking at it, and without guidance, I'd have never thought it was anything else than a winter squash. In color it's a dull gray-green with vertical, cantaloupe-style ridges. It's so dull looking that it's a shock to cut it open and find flesh in a really hot shade of orange. The fruit on the skin is thick with a relatively small seed cavity, and it was just about the juiciest melon I've ever eaten which would account for a lot of the 4.25 lbs it weighed. In flavor, fantastic, and even though it's orange in color it's pretty much halfway between an orange melon and a white in flavor. I have to go to Seattle again this afternoon; will definitely bring another one of these babies home.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov