Two years ago, almost to the day, we were crossing California’s Central Valley and came across Denise’s Farmers Market on highway 120. It is a great stop – a wide variety of locally-grown produce at good prices and with a clean restroom to boot, if nature calls.
At the time, melons were in season so Denise was offering samples of all sorts of varieties that we had never heard of. One of these was the Sharlyn. If you have had a Sharlyn melon, you already know what a treat it can be. If you haven’t, imagine this. The Sharlyn is about the size and shape of a rugby ball. It has an outer texture like a cantaloupe although the skin is much easier to slice. The inner texture and color is much like a ripe pear. The flavor is somewhere between a cantaloupe, a honeydew and a pineapple – absolutely superb!
Once we had tasted this melon, we were hooked, but could never find it again in suburbia. We checked all the local groceries and most had never heard of it. We went on-line and investigated planting the seeds in our garden but concluded we couldn’t create the ideal growing conditions for the plant to prosper. Alas, the Sharlyn would just have to remain a special treat for those years when we just happened by Denise’s Fruit Stand in the month of June…until this year.
Yesterday, as we were entering our local market to stock up on the week’s groceries, I spotted a sign that said ‘Sharlyn $.99/lb’. I was giddy with glee as I searched through the melon bin for this seasonal pleasure. The bin was out but a quick request to the produce attendant found some more in the back; one of which went straight into our basket!
As you can imagine, that Sharlyn melon was sliced and ready to serve as soon as we arrived home. It is just as good as we remembered it. And, this time, we have saved some seeds. Maybe, just maybe, we can get it to grow in our garden. I’ll let you know next year. 😉