Seasons/Availability


Tougan melons are available from summer to early fall.

Current Facts


Tougan melons are in the Cucurbit family.

Description/Taste


The size of Tougan melons may vary; a large one can weight up to 22 pounds (10kg). The color of the skin is dark green and the inside is white. The taste of the Tougan melon is bland, its best to enhance it's flavor in it's preparation. There are two main types of Tougan melons. The first one is called a Daimaru Tougan melon. In Japanese daimaru means big and round. The second one is called a Naga Tougan melon, and has a long cylindrical shape. In Japanese Naga means long. A fully ripened Tougan melon is normally covered by white powder called bloom.

Nutritional Value


Tougan melons contain plenty of potassium that have a role to excrete sodium from the body which can prevent high blood pressure. Additionally, they can prevent myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, and arteriosclerosis. They have diuretic effect and they have been used to reduce swelling in a part of the body. They are rich in vitamin C that can prevent catching cold. Tougan melons are 95% water, so they are low in calories.

Applications


Choose a Tougan melon that is heavy and has no wrinkles or scratches. Make sure the skin has a bright dark green color when you are getting the Tougan melon that is not covered with bloom. It may last for couple months by keeping it in a dry and dark place. If you are buying a Tougan melon that has been cut into half, the inside should be white not brown; seeds inside should be tightly packed. There are two main types of Tougan melons, gourd strips in sushi rolls are made from a yougao and a shiro uri these are different types of Tougan melons.

Ethnic/Cultural Info


The word Tougan written in Japanese is made out of two kanji characters. The first kanji means winter; the second kanji means a melon. The name, Tougan means that they can be stored until winter after harvesting during summer.

Geography/History


Tougan melons are originally from India. They came to China in the 3rd century, then Japan in the 5th century. In Shosoin document from Nara era, there is a description of Tougan melon (Kano melon) as well as in Honzouwamyou document from Heian era that indicate an existence of Tougan melons since ancient time. Okinawa prefecture, Aichi prefecture and Okayama prefecture are the main prefectures that grow Tougan melons.