Three melon types are in a group called Spanish melons: Piel de Sapo, Rochet and Tendral. The most popular both in Spain and in all other countries is the Piel de Sapo type. It has Spanish origins, an oval shape and its average weight is between 1.5 and 3.5 Kg.
The skin is thin and can be smooth or slightly rough. This melon type is ribbed lengthwise and its netting can have different intensity which is generally more pronounced next to the stem end. The colour green prevails but there can also be some darker spots of medium size, which can get yellow though the ripening process. However the part of the fruit which is in contact with the soil receives no sunlight and has a yellowish colour.
The flesh is very juicy, not very fibrous but crispy and firm, with normal sweetness between 12 and 15º brix. Its colour is white or a creamy-white.
This type of melon can be stored or shipped to far away markets because it naturally a long shelf life of more than one month.
The Piel de Sapo melon is generally eaten as a dessert in Spain and next to wine, cured ham and olive oil is an important part of the Spanish food tradition. You can also find a lot of recipes with melon as a main dish, like, for example melon with ham or melon soup (gazpacho).
You can also combine melons with fresh or goat cheese and with lamb. Fish, like for example salmon, tuna and anchovies is also a good choice with melon. Try it marinated with a cold melon soup!
Select Piel de Sapo melons which are heavy for their size which indicates good juice content. The skin should be smooth and free of spots or marks on the skins surface. Store whole melons at room temperature for up to three days. Melons that have been cut should be stored in the refrigerator.
Melons are a great quick and healthy snack, cut into wedges and serve.
Try this refreshing recipe for summer!
"Gazpacho of Piel di Sapo in a Martini glass"
Peel and chop two and a half tomatoes. Put them in a bowl and add chopped onion, crushed peppercorns, mint leaves, finely cut basil leaves and sliced melon. Season with fresh lemon juice and some vinegar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place everything in the fridge for at least an hour.
Take out of the fridge and blend everything by adding some extra virgin olive oil. Serve in a Martini glass with some small ham cubes and chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with finely chopped basil and mint leaves and season with some olive oil.