Dried Canteloupe from Berkeley Bowl
- Caitlin McGrath
When I was in the Bay Area at the beginning of the month, my stepmother came home one evening and raved about the dried canteloupe her friend had bought at Berkeley Bowl. Naturally, I was intrigued and had to try it, and just today found that my mother had tucked a few more pieces into a package she mailed me.
The dried cantaloupe is the same orange color as dried mango, and is as sugary as dried pineapple. The consistency is soft and chewy, almost like a gummy candy. The taste is intriguing; if you know what it is, you can identify the melon-ness of it, but it does not taste as if you're biting into cantaloupe. It's a sweet, frangrant fruitiness that's a bit elusive. I gave a piece to a friend today and she couldn't figure out what it was. Come to think of it, between the texture and the taste, it reminds me a bit of those Kasugai fruit gummies made with fruit juice.
It's in the bulk section at Berkeley Bowl (on the top row), and I've certainly never seen it anywhere else.
Caitlin, I'm pretty sure I've seen this at Trader Joe's as well - at least here in the Bay Area. Haven't tried the Berkeley Bowl one so can't compare (and what I had bought at TJs was a gift) but if you decide you must have more maybe you can find it on the East Coast (or we can just ship you a care package from Berkeley!)
Thanks to both of you; no TJ's around, but obvuiously Fairway. It's not really a must-have at all, though I might pick some up if I happened to see it. (I think my mom sent it so Mike could try it.) I posted about it because it was interesting and different, and posted here because I saw it locally.
Fairway in NYC (at least the one in Harlem) has dried cantalope, too. I haven't had the stuff at Berkeley Bowl, of course, but based on your description, I'd say the stuff at Fairway is similar.
I first saw dried cantaloupe about a year and a half ago. A vendor gave me some samples. I like it. It's sweeter than mango, makes me think of the way jellybeans should taste. Tanya tried it blind and couldn't tell me what it was, but loved it.