You dare to kiss me? The Piel de Sapo is a member of the melon family, known for its unusual skin. Translated from its Spanish origins, it means 'skin of toad' because of the blotched green appearance and wart like cracking. It's also referred to as the Christmas or Santa Claus melon because of the long keeping ability, ie until Christmas.

Typically they have been often quite large around 4-6 kg, but newer varieties are being seen in the market of a smaller, more manageable size up to 2 kg. Its white flesh is of exceptional quality and taste, similar to that of a honeydew but better again. Chefs have discovered the taste for themselves with high demand, creating dishes for their customers to enjoy. Knowledge of this type of melon is growing globally with production still mainly based in Spain, but increasing in the USA and South America for export to Europe.

How to prepare

Cut the melon in half, then into slices or wedges and trim out the seed cavity. Serve as is, or cut off the skin, slice and cube.
Use a special melon baller to scoop out the flesh, serve and enjoy.

Buyer's and storage guide

A Piel de Sapo melon is best determined ripe when the cracking along the skin is more pronounced. Occasionally there will be a discoloured patch on one side of the fruit; this is acceptable as it is where the fruit has rested on the ground. 

It is best not to store any whole melon products in the refrigerator as this can affect the ongoing ripening process and taste.  Keep out on the bench and use within a week.  Any unused cut portions should be wrapped in cling film or stored in air tight containers, which can then be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week. It is not advisable to freeze.

Serving

  • Serve directly as a freshly cut wedge or add chunks to a fruit salad
  • Enjoy as an appetizer wrapped in prosciutto on a toothpick
  • Create a fresh summer salad with tomatoes, goats cheese and cucumber with a topping of freshly torn mint
  • As a salad to share tossed together with some feta and toasted nuts or seeds, dressed with a little olive oil
  • Get creative in making a cold dessert soup along with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey