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Store the melon for the winter: useful advice on the choice, the place of conservation and strategies for having fresh melons until February.
Store the melon for the winteris an ambition of many: who among us does not want to make a Christmas centerpiece with strawberries, melon and other fresh fruit? If for strawberries it is possible to start a seasonal cultivation and harvest between November and January, for the melon it will be necessary to anticipate and aim for a correct one storage.
As well as themelon, even chestnuts can be served on the table during Christmas lunch. For all the info:how to store chestnuts.
THEmelonsthat you cankeep for the winterI am thatyellowand the green one, respectively known as winter melon with yellow skin and winter melon with green skin. The yellow melon, better defined botanicallyCucumis meloInodorus variety, should not be confused with the summer melons of the cantalupensis and reticulatus varieties.
For melon green we refer topurceddu d’Alcamo, this is also nicknamedwinter melon greenfor its ability to be kept until February. Thepurceddu d’Alcamoit is also known as Christmas melon: it is a fruit that is part of the Christmas food and wine tradition of various locations in the Mediterranean.
The winter melon, be it yellow or green skin, it has a high shelf life of the fruit even if a lot depends on the cultivation technique. This is why those who intend keep a melon until Christmas or winter, he will have to carefully choose not the variety but also the right degree of ripeness.
The melon to keep for Christmas or untilwinter, it must come from a late cultivation and must be harvested before complete ripening. The shelf life is greater in dry conditions, while it is reduced with irrigation which must only take place during the first part of cultivation (during the fruit enlargement phase).
From this premise it is easy to understand that you can work hard forkeep the melon for the winterbut if this does not have the right characteristics, it will still end up over-ripening or even rotting.
Don't worry, you won't necessarily have to do it yourself storage of the melon until the winter! Taking advantage of late varieties and postponing the harvest time, there are many producers who distribute "winter melons" until December. It is in this period that farmers are able to obtain the best market prices which are lower for the yellow-skinned winter melon (because it is more productive) and slightly higher for the green-skinned winter melon (because, although more resistant to water stress, it has a lower yield). The melons to be stored for the winter are harvested towards the end of September and offered on the market in stages, until December.
Store the melon for the winter
In the autumn and winter months, in the peasant tradition, the melons of the aforementioned varieties were kept hanging from a rope and used as a reserve of fresh fruit until the Christmas holidays. The winter melon was stored in cellars where the cool temperature and the absence of humidity made the environment suitable for fruit storage. Within the company, the melons to be offered on the market in winter are stored in special warehouses.
In the home, you can store them outside, in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. You can store the melon on the balcony only if it is exposed to the North and only if it has a completely shaded area. You can hang it with ropes, with a net or place it in wooden boxes filled with straw or with fragments of newspapers.
For thestorage until Christmas, choose amelonunripe. A ripe melon should be consumed within 2 - 5 days.
If you decide to keep the melon in the refrigerator until Christmas, place it in the lower part of the refrigerator (possibly in the dresser). When stored in the refrigerator, the melon must never come into contact with the walls of the appliance as it may freeze and deteriorate.
Forkeep the melon until winteryou will have to choose an unripe fruit and place it in a cool, dry and ventilated place. The melon should be kept hanging or in a perforated box, placed on a layer of straw.
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