Ananas

I have had this post in a folder on my desktop for two months now and for whatever reason, none of them very good that I can think of, I couldn’t get it from my desktop to Anniespickns. Yes, work was pretty intense for a month or so, and yes I have been running around seeing all kinds of beautiful scenery and getting my gardens planted but the article was pretty much done, just sitting there. But in my mind it would take more effort than I was willing to give to move it to it’s final resting place, until this morning. I awoke at 5:05am and was sure that the correct time was 6:05am since the time change occurred earlier this morning. Then after I had gotten up, put on the tea water and awoken my Mac I realized that I was indeed up an hour earlier than needed, and this on a Sunday morning. So after I read a few blogs I follow,  the guilt of not dealing with my own blog got the best of me and I opened the folder marked ananas.doc and got to work. Here finally is the result.

Last year I grew Ambrosia melons in my little garden.  They are by far my favorite melon so my intention was to grow them again this year. I don’t get very many off one vine, I think I got 3 last year, but there is something very satisfying about being able to pick a melon out of your backyard then take it inside, cut it open and eat it. Well, when I was at the Davis Farmers Market this spring looking for melon plants I found one called Ananas, an historic heirloom variety, grown by Thomas Jefferson in 1794 and offered commercially in the USA in 1824.   It sounded interesting, so I bought one, with the hope that it would equal or surpass my beloved Ambrosia.

Into the ground it went. It flourished and grew, and spread throughout the squash plant and intermingled with the Persian Baby Cucumbers. I fed it and watered it and dreamed of the day when I would finally get to taste it. I started seeing blooms, then small melons the size of the tip of my pinky.  The melons grew larger as the summer wore on. The melons continued to develop but still were very green. Just before Labor Day I noticed that the first melon was starting to turn a lighter color and finally it turned yellow. I checked it to see if the stem would fall away from the melon several times before it finally did. There it was, my beautiful Ananas melon, ripe and ready to eat. Into the house I went. I cut it in half. The aroma was sweet and the juicy ivory colored flesh had a blush of orange color in the center where the seeds were. Now the test, my first bite. Well, the flavor didn’t blow my socks off but it was good. I harvested three melons from my little vine and enjoyed each of them but I think I will go back to my Ambrosia next year, unless something else peaks my curiosity.

Here’s a bit of information I found when I was doing a little research on the Ananas; “The Ananas melon is one of the most popular heirloom melons grown in the United States today and is also widely grown in the Middle East. Another common name for this variety is Pineapple Melon.” Interesting that it is supposedly one of the most popular heirloom melons grown in the US and I had never heard of it and the farmer who I bought the plant from was trying it for the first time also.  Melons are part of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, which consists of squashes, melons and gourds, including cucumber, and luffas and those with edible fruits were amongst the earliest cultivated plants in both the Old and New Worlds.  The fruit is often a kind of modified berry called a pepo (a modified berry with a hard outer rind). For more information on “true” berries including a good description of the term check out my post  “Persimmons are true berries – What?”.

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