Summer Eats: Cantaloupe and Watermelon

By sheeber joyce

It’s the third week of April and the searing summer heat is undeniably rolling in. The need to turn on the AC 24/7 is becoming a stern necessity. The city populace seeks comfort in the coolness of shopping centers. Beach resorts are fully booked. Some go easy on frozen desserts. Me? I’m spending this day with cantaloupe and watermelon.

The towns of Oton and Zarraga are the leading plantation sites for watermelon and cantaloupe. Thanks to advancements in farming, these summer delights are available all-year round. Cantaloupe—or as we all call it, “melon”—is best served scraped and mixed with milk. Grandma called that specific fruit scraper “raspador”.  Many prefer their cantaloupes freshly sliced but you can also turn it into ice candies, which is a low-cost way of consuming frozen street treats during summer.

Watermelon has no special preparation: slice it in whatever way you want and dive in! If the seeds bother you a lot, juicing it is an option. Watermelon slush is so refreshing and less messy to eat. Not only it is thirst-quenching, but also low in calories and very filling in large servings, which is a good thing if you are trying to lose weight because it doesn’t make you feel deprived.

But what got me the most five years ago, after the revelation that there are actual square watermelons in Japan, was the discovery that there are yellow watermelons. Imagine cutting an apple into half and it’s outstandingly purple! Well, that’s how my foreign friends felt the first time they found out we have yellow watermelons in the Philippines. Agriculturists call them Yellow Crimson or Yellow Flesh Watermelon. Compared to the red one, it is sweeter.

So, what’s your favorite summer treat? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below!

Photo by the author