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The Galia melon has a yellow to orange skin that is covered in light golden-tan netting. Its flesh is pale green with a succulent texture that has a signature spicy sweet flavor with tropical and perfumed aromatics. Unlike many other melon varieties the tenderness of the stem end of the melon is not a good indicator of ripeness, rather, ripeness should be determined by color and development of a distinct musky aroma. The more orange in color the exterior skin of the Gaila melon the higher the sugar content of the melon’s flesh will be. Their flavor is also best when they are harvested at full to three-quarter slip stage.
Galia melons are available spring to mid fall. Imported Costa Rican Galia melons are available beginning in winter.
Galia melons are a hybrid variety muskmelon and a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Botanically known as Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus, they are a cross between a smooth skinned cantaloupensis variety (Ha-Ogen) and a netted Russian reticulatus variety (Krymka). Though known to be an exceptional melon in flavor, Galia melons are unfortunately prone to rapid softening, as a result studies are being done currently to discover new methods for extending shelf life by manipulating the parent lines using in vitro regeneration and antisense technology.
Galia melons are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, various minerals, like potassium, calcium, and iron, and also contain significant levels of dietary fiber, including pectin. They also have no fat, no cholesterol, and are low in calories.
Galia melons are best used in fresh uncooked preparations. They can be used in both sweet and savory applications. They can be sliced, balled, pureed or halved and served as is. Use Galia melons in fruit salads as well as breakfast preparations and main dishes. Galia melons pair well with ginger, seafood, mint, garlic, chili, honey, peanuts and soft cheeses. Galia melons have a short shelf life and will only keep for two to three weeks after being picked, even in cold storage facilities. Galia melons should be used within two to three weeks of being harvested, once cut keep melon refrigerated in a sealed container and use within a few days.
The Galia melon was developed in the 1960’s at the Ne´ve Yaar Research Center of the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel. It was the first Israeli hybrid melon ever developed and was created by melon breeder Dr. Zvi Karchi. The melon was named after Dr. Zvi Karchi’s daughter and in Hebrew translates to “God’s wave”. Released for commercial production in 1973 the Galia melon within ten years grew to be such a popular market melon that its distribution spanned across Western Europe. Today Morocco, Turkey and Spain are major producers of the Galia melon. They can be found growing additionally in Costa Rica, Greece, Egypt, Panama, Portugal, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, and Israel. Galia melons are imported to Europe and the United States and in the United States in northern Florida Galia melons are now successful being grown using greenhouse technology.
Recipes that include Galia Melon. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Savory Nothings||Red and Green Fruit Salad|
|Kitchen Butterfly||Galia Melon Marmalade|
|Eat in my Kitchen||Spinach and Melon Salad with Orange Mascarpone|
|Beard & Bonnet||Toddler Approved Gaila Melon Green Juice|
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Near Mount Vernon, Washington, United States
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