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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Korean melon's a sweet, tasty treat that's cute to boot

By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor

They look like squash. They taste like cantaloupe. And, for food, they're awfully cute.

These are the bright yellow, grooved mini-melons known as Korean melon, or chamoe or nylon chamoe, grown by Aloun Farms on O'ahu and available now through early summer. There are a number of hybrids of these melons, including one that is smooth-skinned, without ridges, and other, larger varieties (called dua gon) that are closer in size to those small Thai watermelons (which also are in stores now).

The flesh is crisp, white and sweet but in an odd, perfumey kind of way — it's a taste you have to experience. Split the chamoe in half and you find a white to pale-yellow flesh and center rows of seeds. Cut the flesh away from the rind and discard the seeds just as you do cantaloupe or watermelon.

Melon cultivation is widespread on the Korean Peninsula, and Koreans prize melons for refreshing snacks.

In an article in a South Korean quarterly, Shirley Darow, an American who lived in South Korea for a time, tells how to use the melon. You can make frozen melon balls: place balls of melon flesh in a container, cover with fruit juice and freeze. Defrost a bit before serving.

Or make a slushie: peel, seed and chop the melon, and process it in a food processor or blender with 1/2 to 1 cup of white grape juice or orange juice. Add a little ginger ale or club soda, if you like, or more juice, until you attain the desired consistency.

Or for a minted melon cup, boil 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water together for 5 minutes to make a simple syrup. Pour this over 1/2 cup chopped, fresh mint leaves. Cool and strain. Add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup orange or pineapple juice. Make melon balls, pour minted juice over and chill. Add peaches, if desired.