The cantaloupe melon is well-known on the shelves of the greengrocer and supermarket. The coarse, ribbed yellow-green skin and orange flesh is recognizable to most people. This melon is actually a ‘fruit vegetable’; it is related to the cucumber and pumpkin. You often see the cantaloupe appear on the menu in the summer; as a snack or in a dessert. But did you know that cantaloupe is also very suitable for use in winter dishes?
The taste is almost sugar-sweet and wonderfully aromatic. This allows you to recognize the melon quickly and it is a present flavor enhancer!
The tastiest melon?
The cantaloupe is one of the most popular melon varieties in the US, among others. The melon variety is often awarded by consumers as the tastiest because of its sweet taste! After the all-time favorite watermelon, cantaloupe is number 2 in the list in the category share of melon sales in America.
Category share of melon sales in the United States in 2020, by melon type (Statista)
The cantaloupe is named after a small village: Cantalupe, which is close to Rome, Italy. Here, the fruit was first cultivated in large numbers. It is originally a tropical fruit cultivated in India, Iraq and Afghanistan. We currently get them from South America in the winter and from Spain in the summer. One of the best-known varieties is the Charentais.
The growth process of our melons in 4 stages:
Seeds of the melon are planted in a tray. After 10 days, the small plants are transferred to soil. The plants are cleaned every other day for up to 30 days. Our growers turn the melons in the field so that they ripen evenly.
During the harvest, the melons are cut close to the fruit with a sharp knife so that the fruit remains good. We use a certain type of fertilizer on the stem to prevent mold, which could affect the melon.
- SELECT AND PACK
After harvesting, the melons are washed and sorted according to size and quality. Together with our growers, we ensure that the highest quality melons go to the European retail market and the other melons to the local market.
After harvesting and sorting, the melons are cooled for transport. The right temperature makes the difference between a shelf life of 1 week or several weeks. The average transport time is 4 weeks on the boat.
Levarht grows its own melons in South America and also works with growers there. We supply European customers through our own building in the Kwakel as well as through direct flows. From Honduras to the Middle East for example!
We supply cantaloupe melons from Agricola Famosa from Brazil. This season runs from August to March. The cultivation area of Agricola Famosa covers more than 9,000 hectares. We do customer-specific packaging and production here, which makes us very flexible and a good partner to work with. And of course the tastiest cantaloupes come from here!
Into the future
The Netherlands imports and exports more melons than ever. The main sales countries are currently Denmark, Sweden and Poland.
Export melons from NL (in Kg)
In 2018, the cantaloupe sales figures were very high. This was most likely due to the extremely hot weather in 2018, which lasted for a few months. People then look for healthy, fresh and thirst-quenching food and the cantaloupe is perfect for summer days. YTD in 2020 we also see an increase in sales of about 2% from last year. This is most likely due to the impact COVID-19 has had on fruit and vegetable sales in general. People have started to eat differently than before and have been more conscious about healthier choices and options for the menu.
The ideal vegetable for a healthy diet
The cantaloupe is very suitable for a healthy diet. The fruit is very low in calories and adds a lot of flavor to a dish. For example, make a tasty salad! Also delicious with a "heavy" winter meal. The fruit is packed with vitamins A and C. Just 250 grams of cantaloupe is enough for an adult to reach the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C. In addition to A and C, the melon also contains vitamins B1, B2, B5 and vitamin K.
The orange color of the pulp is due to beta-carotene, which is also found in vegetables like carrots.
Cantaloupe in the spotlight
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