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Farmer's Market Mystery: Can You Identify These Species of Melon and Zucchini?

alias wade Jul 28, 2008 09:07 AM

Got a couple of new (to me) items at the farmer's market on Saturday, but the gentleman who sold them to me could not tell me exactly what they were called. (He seemed not to be the actual farmer, and his English wasn't great to boot.) Anybody recognize them? Thanks! (Pencil and keys for scale.)

  1. a
    alias wade Jul 30, 2008 01:40 AM

    First, thanks so much for all your replies!
    The melon... well, I don't think it was a melon at all. Picture is below. Looks like a melon but tasted awful, like the most bitter cucumber you could imagine. Does the description or the pick maybe help identify it?
    I am looking forward to sauteeing the snake gourd tonight. That video was great, jiyo! I'm going to try a simpler saute with it tonight. Will report back.... Wade

    3 Replies
    1. re: alias wade
      moh Jul 30, 2008 06:05 AM

      The inside of this object looks very much like the inside of Korean melons (i believe the name is "cham hweh" or something like that.) But the Korean melons I have seen have been less orange on the outside, and they are not bitter, although there is a certain cucumber-like texture to them. A well-ripened Korean melon is a subtle fruit, mildly melon-flavoured and perfumed with honey notes.

      Perhaps this is related to the Korean melon, but not yet ripe? Just a hypothesis...

      1. re: moh
        alias wade Jul 30, 2008 07:11 AM

        Could well be, but the one I had certainly looked ripe-- its color was vivid and it was fairly soft. Maybe it was overripe? Hmm. I think maybe that's it. When I think about it, any other melon that was as soft as the one I had would be overripe, and would have an off flavor. That's gotta be it.

        1. re: alias wade
          moh Jul 30, 2008 07:36 AM

          The only thing is that I have not had overripe fruit that was bitter, usually it is sickeningly sweet and tastes rotting. If it was truly bitter, then I have to wonder if it is some variety of bitter melon.

          Curiouser and curiouser!

    2. cassis Jul 28, 2008 06:26 PM

      I was in an Asian supermarket today (super 88 in Boston) and they had "Korean Melons" that looked like that. I bought one a couple of weeks ago but it tasted very mild, not very sweet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cassis
        fuuchan Jul 29, 2008 12:59 PM

        Im pretty sure what's called "korean melon" looks a bit different than the orange, smooth specimen above.
        Korean melon is typically bright sunny yellow in color with white ribs, not solid orange all over like that.

      2. JiyoHappy Jul 28, 2008 06:11 PM

        Here is what you can do with it


        3 Replies
        1. re: JiyoHappy
          Nyleve Jul 29, 2008 09:09 AM

          Hahaha! Fantastic video - if only I understood half of what he added to the pan!

          1. re: Nyleve
            mlgb Jul 29, 2008 10:11 AM

            Ha! That was great... you didn't understand him?

            (chana dal, oil, red chile, mustard seeds, cumin (zeera), onion, chana dal, urad dal, turmeric, hing, green chile, chopped curry leaves). On top is the "gunpowder" which you have to make with a separate video


            Even funnier video...he sneezes!

            1. re: Nyleve
              JiyoHappy Jul 29, 2008 12:10 PM

              Try this recipe
              Snake gourd cut into half-moon shape 2 cups
              Chana dal soaked for about 1 hour 3 tablespoons
              Tomato PASTE 1 tablespoon
              crushed garlic 1 tablespoon
              crushed ginger 1 tablespoon
              green chillies , seeded ( red chillies ok, just don't use jalepeno) 2-3
              ghee 2 tablespoons
              mustard seeds 2 teaspoons
              curry leaves 10-12
              Hing 1/2 teaspoon
              Turmeric 1 teaspoon
              Salt 2 teaspoon
              red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
              water 2 cups
              coconut milk 4 tablespoons

              Heat the ghee and add mustard seeds . When they pop, add hing, curry leaves, ginger , garlic, turmeric, green or red chillies, red chilli powder salt and tomato paste. Let everything come together for about a min, keep stirring . Throw in soaked dal and snake gourd pieces and coat with the masala. After about another minute, add 2 cuos of water, cover and cook for 10 min, check for doneness , add more water if needed .
              When everything seems to be ready, add coconut milk, stir around, cover , and shut the heat off after 30 seconds. Let it stand for 10 min before opening the lid and digging a spoon

          2. JiyoHappy Jul 28, 2008 06:01 PM

            The green ones look like " Snake gourd" , commonly known as "Chinchda" in India. They can grow upto 2 feet long.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JiyoHappy
              Rubee Jul 28, 2008 06:05 PM

              Good call!


              1. re: JiyoHappy
                JiyoHappy Jul 28, 2008 06:06 PM

                a pic

              2. a
                anzu Jul 28, 2008 05:41 PM

                The melon sortof resembles a very very ripe Sharlyn melon, though they are usually more yellowish in color.

                1. Rubee Jul 28, 2008 04:15 PM


                  There's an orange heirloom melon called "Collective Farmwoman". You'll have to see if it's similar to this when you cut it open:


                  At first I thought the zucchini could be a type of Armenian cucumber/squash, but after googling, I'm not so sure.

                  1. Ruth Lafler Jul 28, 2008 01:54 PM

                    Wow. Got me. Often with melons you can't tell until you cut into them and see what color the flesh is.

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