Hami Gold: A melon like no other

Nothing beats a chilled bowl full of cool, sweet and juicy melon balls on a hot summer’s day. But sometimes the standard run-of-the-mill cantaloupes and honeydews can be disappointingly bland. This summer, look beyond those massive conventional melon displays to a lesser-known gourmet varieties: The Hami Gold melon. The experts at Frieda’s Specialty Produce are distributing this delicious melon to a produce department near you this summer.

No melon bowl is complete without the juicy-crisp honey sweetness of the Hami Gold melon. This Chinese-style oblong melon features a golden rind with light netting and beautiful salmon-colored flesh. The flavor is crisp, refreshing and positively addictive.

Here are a couple simple recipe ideas from Frieda’s Specialty Produce for enjoying this exquisite summer melon:

Summer Melon a la Mode
Serve sweet melon chunks over ice cream, pound cake, or alone in a long-stemmed chilled goblet.

1 Hami Gold melon
1/3 cup triple sec or orange liqueur
1 Tbsp. finely chopped Frieda’s Crystallized Ginger
Toasted slivered almonds

Chop the melon into bite-sized chunks. Place in a non-metal bowl. Sprinkle the triple sec over the melon. Stir in the crystallized ginger. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes to 6 hours to blend flavors. Serve as is, topped with slivered almonds, or over pound cake or ice cream. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Sweet and Crunchy Melon Salad

1/2 cup Frieda’s Coquito Nuts, crushed (or slivered toasted almonds)
3 cups Hami Gold Melon, cut into chunks
1 cup fresh strawberries (or raspberries), sliced

Coconut-Lemon Dressing:
1 8-ounce container lemon-flavored low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine Coquito Nuts, melon and berries, set aside. For dressing, stir together all ingredients until well mixed. Add dressing, as desired, to fruit mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately in small bowls. Makes 6 servings.