Calling all melon lovers! The casaba melon is unlike any other with its refreshing sweetness and subtle yet complex flavor. Fresh casaba melon has a refreshing, mildly sweet flavor of asian pear with a barely-there hint of peppery warmth. As soft as honeydew when ripe, casaba melon also tastes like a slightly sweet cucumber with the faintest hint of musk that these types of melons are known for.
This yellow orb has lots of ridges on its skin, with crisp white fruit on the inside. The skin and seeds are usually discarded, but the seeds can be cooked to be made edible.
These special melons can be eaten raw in slices, or enjoyed in salads, smoothies, shakes and sorbets. They may also be cooked through grilling, boiling, baking and more! Heat brings out their natural sugars, giving them even more unique and complex flavor.
How to prepare your melons will depend on the recipe you’re using. Here are the most common ways to prepare melons for just about any recipe.
Casaba melons have a slightly different shape and a more challenging rind, so take extra care when processing your casabas. Always use a sharp chef’s knife and a heavy cutting board, secured with a wet towel underneath to keep the board stable.
- Casaba melons have a thick, ridged rind on the outside with softer, dense fruit on the inside. Start by slicing away ½ inch of the peel at the end of the melon where it was cut from the vine. Then, sit the casaba upright on this flat surface. Starting at the top, slice away the rind in strips perpendicular to the cutting board. Cut all the way around the fruit, leaving no bitter rind on the melon flesh. Finish by slicing away the remaining round top of the rind.
- Cut the casaba in half from top to bottom. Set one half aside.
- Scooped seeds away for roasting, or toss them into the compost bin.
- Lay the long, flat surface of the melon on the cutting board, and cut the fruit into ½” or 1” slices. Serve as is, or sprinkled with spices, salt and lime.
Casaba melons are incredibly versatile fruits that find homes in tons of recipes. Fresh casaba melon can be prepared in both sweet and savory recipes for any time of day!
- Grilling: Turn up the heat to bring out casaba melon’s natural sweetness. Grill thick slices of casaba along with other melons and stone fruit for a unique warm fruit salad.
- Baking: casaba melons can be baked into cakes, breads and delicate pastries like tarts.
- Confection: Mild, crisp casaba melons are delicious in jams, jellies and candy making.
- Roasting: Roast casaba seeds with salt and spices for a savory snack. The fruit can also be roasted to make a warm casaba compote.
There are countless ways to add fresh, crisp, casaba melon sweetness to drink recipes. Casaba is delicious in juices, enhanced waters, cocktails and liqueurs. Add casaba to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages by making a basic syrup or toss frozen chunks into your blender to sip on something a little more slushy.
Here are some easy ways use casaba melon in your drinks:
- Juicing: Melons should have their rind and seeds removed before feeding the flesh into an electric juicer. Casaba melon juice is delicious on its own or with other fruits and green vegetables like cantaloupe, kale, strawberry, mint, lemon, lime, pineapple and guavas.
- Smoothies: To prepare your melons for smoothies, discard the rind and seeds, then slice the fruit into chunks. Freeze them on a cookie sheet with space in between each piece. Once frozen, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. You can easily pop frozen melons cubes into smoothies!
- Cocktails: From liqueurs to tiki drinks and delicate cocktails, casaba adds subtle sweetness with crisp freshness.
- Water: Dice up or melon ball pieces of casaba melon to add to your water bottle along with fresh herbs like mint or basil for an eye catching and delicious refresher.
Fresh casaba melons can be stored on the countertop until they fully ripen. Their thick, waxy rind allows casaba melons to keep fresher for longer than other varieties, lasting as long as two weeks depending on your climate. Sliced or whole ripe casaba melons should be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
To freeze casaba melons, wait until they are fully ripened. Then, slice the casaba to remove the inedible seeds and rind. Freeze sliced melon on a cookie sheet with space between each piece. Once frozen, store the fruit in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
Do you feel like a casaba melon eating expert now? Show us your favorite ways to prepare and eat casaba melon by tagging us in your culinary masterpieces on Instagram @Fruitstandcom!