One of the best parts about a plant-based diet is trying new fruits and vegetables.
This week, I passed a display of Limelons. The name suggests that the fruit tastes like lime, one of my favorite flavors. However, lime can be overpowering unless subdued by other ingredients. A part of me feared its tang might be overwhelming.
I took my find home and cut it in half. I was surprised that the fruit was white, since the flesh of melons is usually colorful. I carved off a slice and took a big bite.
It was wet and refreshing like watermelon. But the texture was smooth like cantaloupe. The overall flavor was mild, but with the lingering taste and tang of lime. A perfect summer fruit!
Today, it accompanied my lunch, spaghetti with vegetable sauce. By the end of the meal, I’d consumed two large slices of Limelon.
I’m believe this fruit could accompany nearly any dish. The flavor is clean and versatile. The fruit itself could be pureed or juiced, added to salad, or used as a margarita base.
I will warn, however, that the tang creeps up on a person. By the end of the second slice, my lips tingled with the zing of lime. Nevertheless, I can’t wait for my next meal and another slice of Limelon.
The Limelon is a hybrid fruit that was developed in Taiwan by Known-You Seed. It is the result of natural crossbreeding rather than genetic modification.
In 2012, a small number of melons were introduced to British markets, where they were an immediate success. These initial melons were yellow, with latitudinal green stripes. They were sold for only three weeks, because the fruit has a short growing season.
A Dutch company (HillFresh) bought the rights to the European market in 2019, and has continued to expand the Limelon market. In 2020, the fruit was being grown in Murcia, Spain and sold in Great Britain. Hillfresh is now investigating other countries as potential growing sites, in the hopes that Limelons can be grown year-round.
This is the first time I’ve seen the fruit in my area. I feel lucky, since it may only be available for a short time. But now that I’ve tasted it, I’ll look for it again next June.