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Melon
MELON.
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Melon
INTRODUCTION
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The melon is the fruit of the melonera, it plants of creeping stem that belongs to the family of the Cucurbitaceous ones, which includes approximately 850 species of herbaceous plants that produce fruits generally of big size and protected by a hard crust. There belong to the genre Cucumis species as diverse as the cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and the kiwano (Cucumis metuliferus).



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ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The origin of the melon is very vague, some authors affirm that the melon is native to Central Asia, while others place his origin in the African continent.


Representations of this fruit have been in Egyptian graves of 2.400 B.C. In the antiquity it was described as the masterpiece of Apollo and praised for being a fruit as beneficial as the sun. In the IIIrd century, the Roman gardening manuals were giving instructions on his cultivation. In that epoch, the fruit dusted with musk was making use to accentuate his delicate flavor. An ancient Arab belief says that "the one that should satisfy his stomach with melons will fill with light". The melons appeared in France at the end of the XVth century and they were consumed in big quantities by the court where they were making use in the shape of pyramids and were accompanying themselves of muscatel. Columbus introduced them in the American continent. In that epoch his size was not bigger than that of an orange, but throughout the centuries they have expanded both in size and in types. The varieties of melon that are in our environment are the following ones: Future, Category, Skin of toad, and all of them are characterized for possessing uniform fruits as for quality and production, lengthened and with a weight understood between 1,5 and 2 kilos. His pulp is a yellowish, compact, creaking and very sweet half note, although slightly aromatic. The crust is of green color and very thin, sometimes reticulada. Three varieties lodge in his central cavity hundreds of seeds of pale yellow color. His flavor is sweet and refreshing. In the Spanish territory there are producing areas: Almeria, Valencia, Castellón, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Madrid.

Tendral: it is an original variety of the Spanish Southeast, of big resistance to the transport and excellent conservation. There is called he also a winter melon. It is a fruit with rounded form or lightly elongated, quite heavily (2-3 kilos), with rough, thick crust, of dark green color, which makes him be very resistant to the transport. The pulp is white, slightly tasty and she resembles the flavor of the cucumber when the melon is green. It appears on the market in November and they are until January. They can survive up to two or three months. Most commercialized in our country they come from the area of Elche (Alicante).

Honey Dew: his crust is yellow, smooth and soft. The pulp is very juicy, sugary and creaking, also it is of a pale yellow color. They present an egg-shaped form and usually weigh between 2 and 3 kilos. They are cultivated in Murcia, Cartagena, Valencia and Cuenca. Out of station they are imported from December until March from Costa Rica and Brazil.

Gaul: it is an original variety of Israel. His form is spherical and it is of a green color that it tones the yellow intense one in the ripeness, they have a registered dense one. His pulp is a greenish and slightly consistent half note, with an exquisite aroma. The middleweight of these fruits ranges between the 850 and 1.500 grams. Producing areas are Almeria and Murcia, although they are imported especially from Israel.

Charentais, Cantaloupe: there are spherical fruits lightly flattened of weight understood between 700 and 1.500 grams. His skin is yellow, it dies and presents a few longitudinal streaks that go from the base of the fruit up to the stem. His pulp has a nice orange color (similar to the pumpkin) and a very typical aroma. The principal producing country is France, although in Spain also it is cultivated in Almeria and Murcia.

HIS BEST EPOCH

It is during the summer months, from July until September, when the melons are harvested cultivated outdoors, taking care that the fruit is completely mature and has developed the flavor and so particular sweet aroma. Likewise, in the winters months, from November until January, we can taste the melon Tendral. Out of period they are imported from Brazil, Costa Rica and South Africa.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: it is one of the fruits of major size, and his spherical form, a few times and others oval or elongated, like a rugby ball, it depends on the variety.

Size and weight: it ranges according to the variety from 800 grams to 4 kilos.

Color: the crust can be green, yellow, orange, white, and his pulp acquires tones that go from the target, cream, yellow, orange up to the greenish tone. The interior of his pulp lodges a cavity where there is multitude of seeds of color cremates, mixed with a gelatinous and viscous mass that is eliminated easily.

Flavor: the melon turns out to be excellent when it has reached his ripeness, when it is possible to savor his exquisite and refreshing sweet flavor.


HOW TO CHOOSE IT AND TO PRESERVE IT


On the market it is suitable to choose the melons that are hard and without marks, with a regular gray reticle. Those who have the very green skin have been gathered before time. When they are mature they have a very typical sweet and delicate smell; if they have no fragrance it is necessary to allow them to mature to temperature ambience for a few days.


To know if a melon is mature, it is necessary to take it between the hands with steadfastness. If, on having pressed gently the base, the side opposite to the bush, it yields a little, it means that it is well mature. The copies that are spent can be sticky on having touched them. If it is possible to shake lightly the melon before buying it and a splash is heard, it means that it is too mature and that it has begun to deteriorate.


It is necessary to push back any fruit that is too soft, that seems to present scars or shows humid spots on the skin. If the stem has signs of rottenness, also it is a bad sign.


The mature melon has to be consumed as soon as possible, since it deteriorates with supreme rapidity. Once opened, it is convenient to keep it in the icebox covered with a transparent movie, since it detaches a very strong smell and absorbs easily the flavor of other food. If it is entire, it is possible to put in the refrigerator only one or two hours before serving it, since the cold melon turns out to be very refreshing.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 52,4
Carbohydrates (g) 13,1
Fibre (g) 0,8
Potassium (mg) 320
Magnesium (mg) 11,8
Calcium (mg) 15,8
I shoe (mg) 0,4
Vitamin C (mg) 32
Folatos (mcg) 2,7
Provitamina A (mcg) 3
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


80 % of the composition of this fruit is a water, and the scarce calories that it contributes it owes to his moderate sugar content. The quantity of beta - caroteno, of antirust action, depends on the intensity of the orange pigment in the pulp. The minerals that it contributes in major quantity are the potassium, the magnesium and the calcium, the last one of worse use than the one that comes from the milk or other food that are a good source of the above mentioned mineral. The vitamin C has antirust action, as the beta - caroteno. The above mentioned vitamin intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red globules and favors the absorption of the iron of the food and the resistance to the infections. The beta - caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system. The potassium is necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse, for the normal muscular activity and it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell. The magnesium is related to the functioning of intestine, nerves and muscles, is part of bones and teeth, improves the immunity and possesses a soft laxative effect.


The melons reticulados differ from the rest in which (beta - caroteno), vitamin are an excellent provitamina source A C and carbohydrates (principally saccharose or sucrose).


There are one of the fresh fruits richest in sodium (10 miligramos/100 grams of product, opposite to 4 milligrams / 100 grams of average of the rest of fruits).




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