Where to buy the juiciest melons in France this summer

Connexion speaks to Bernard Chiron, melon producer and President of the Association Interprofessionnelle du Melon.
Connexion speaks to Bernard Chiron, melon producer and President of the Association Interprofessionnelle du Melon.

Across France, you will see shoppers prodding and sniffing as they search for the perfect juicy melon. Connexion looks at the fruit’s history and meets a passionate producer.

Melons: the juiciest taste of summer

You know summer has arrived when you can enjoy eating a tasty, ripe Charentais melon. They are available from April to October but the best months are June to September. The Charentais melon is almost the only variety grown in France and despite its name it does not originate from the Charente.

The history of melons 

Melons were first grown in Egypt in about 500 BC. They spread to Greece and Italy around 100AD. At that time, they were not as sweet and were eaten as a vegetable, which in fact they are, as they are part of the Cucurbitaceae family along with pumpkins and cucumbers. The sweeter varieties developed over the centuries so we now think of it as a fruit.

During the Renaissance period monks grew them for the Popes at their summer residence at Cantalupo, in Italy, hence this type of melon is called, in English a Cantaloupe melon. When the popes came to Avignon during the 14th century the monks brought the melon seeds with them. ...

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