Thursday, August 20, 2009

Piel de Sapo

The grocery store was having a sale on various melons. This particular melon caught my eye. Although I had never tried it before, and didn't know what "piel de sapo" meant in Spanish, I had a good feeling about it.

I got it home and Googled it. It means "toad skin". Hmm. Hope it tastes better than it's name implies. It is also sometimes labeled "Christmas" and "Santa Claus" because they ripen into winter ready for Christmas, although I think that is a misnomer as those melons are said to have yellow-orange flesh.

A little more research and I found rave reviews for the piel de sapo melon. Apparently it is widely served in Spain. In fact, it is so popular in Spain that when melon is mentioned, it is assumed to be this one. Some travelers said that it was the best melon that they had ever tasted.

Most admitted that it is difficult to tell when it is ripe since it is a hard-skinned melon that is ripe while it is still green. Supposedly, you look for a spreading of yellow tinting across the melon. It has fairly good keeping qualities, so even if you buy it from the store a little unripe, you can ripen it at home. I was pretty sure that mine was not fully ripe when I bought it so I waited. I had this one for two weeks before I caved and cut it open.
It still was not quite ripe, even after the two weeks, so I would wait for the skin to get a little more yellow. Also, the ends give a little as it ripens, so maybe wait until more of the end is springy.

The flesh is white and somewhat juicy, much like honeydew. The seeds form three cases which were easy to remove. There wasn't much of an aroma.

The melon sliced up easily. Slice into thin slices, then filet the rind off. It is a little difficult to tell where the rind end as the flesh and rind are similar in color. Check for where it gets firm, the ripe flesh will be crisp but easy to bite into.

I thought the melon tasted like sweet, juicy cucumbers. My husband said it tasted like a really firm watermelon. We both liked it. It had crisp flesh and was light and refreshing.

I will definitely try it again.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing and am waiting to slice into my melon. Thanks for posting about ripeness. That's what I was looking for.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE piel de sopa. You must have had a bland one because I know them to be super sweet and a unique flavor comparable to... windex? LOL but once you get over that it is DELICIOUS! XD

David Talbot said...

I got one of these at the 99Cent store in Arizona and really appreciate your blog post. It has a lot of yellow color, but is very firm at the ends. So, thanks to your post, we'll wait a few weeks to try it.

Sylvana said...

Let me know how it went. We haven't purchased another since this one since we haven't seen any for sale at our store since this one. Pictures if possible of what it looked like on the outside when you finally opened it.

Sylvana said...

Anonymous, mine was definitely not fully ripe. That is why it wasn't so sweet. I am looking forward to trying this again.

Peggy Wagner said...

I found this Lucius fruit to be juicy, and not at all dry. It was like biting into a cucumber with a hint of cantaloupe, and watermelon.Refreshing, not too sweet. The perfect melon. Peggy Wagner.

Sylvana said...

Peggy, that was the impression I was left with as well. It is a very refreshing melon - and pretty too.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased one at wal mart and to me it tastes a lot like very ripe very sweet cantaloupe

Anonymous said...

I just purchase one beause it shape like a paypa and I have never seen that fruit before so from reading your blog, I guess I will wait a couple of days before trying it hope it will be ripe by then not sure if it's ripe now, will see if I have Peggy's experience.

Anonymous said...

Love these. Flesh is a bit creamy yellow on the ones I've had that came from Costa Rica. Wish they were available for longer.

Anonymous said...

Squirt some lime juice on it! SOOOOOOOOOOO YUMMY!!!!!