Buying melons back home was pretty simple. Not only could I read all the labels, I could recognize everything by sight. If a melon had a shiny dark green rind it was watermelon, if it had a rough textured beige rind it was cantaloupe, if it had a very pale green it was honeydew. It's not so easy here. I can read some - but not enough, and what I can read doesn't always make sense. And melons can't always be identified visually. There's probably more to figure out, but this is what I've gotten straight so far.
Melon that looks like watermelon is probably watermelon, but if you're in a fancier store (like Preece, not a gift fruit store) it's safest to buy one that's already cut so you can see what you're getting. I've seen both of these, plus a watermelon rind with a seedless orange melon inside. Still, watermelon is normally sold in wedges, so this isn't too tricky.
It's when we get to cantaloupe and honeydew that things get trickier. Both of these seem to have what I think of as cantaloupe rind. Last week I actually had to buy two melons that were named differently, but essentially identical, just to be sure I had cantaloupe for a recipe. (Luckily one was 50% off). So here it is:
This is an アンデス Melon, (Andes Melon) whatever that is. When I cut it open it turned out to be green inside, but the flavor was pretty similar to a cantaloupe.
|アンデス Melon Outside|
|アンデス Melon Inside|
There's another green melon that looks the same that's called a プリンス Melon (Prince Melon). It is much closer to the flavor a honeydew.
The second melon I bought was called a レッド Melon (Red Melon) on the sticker, and a sign on the shelf had the kanji for red (赤) in the name. This is the typical cantaloupe that I'm used to. Incidentally, I just learned from Raku that there's not a Japanese word for the color orange.
|レッド Melon Outside|
|レッド Melon Inside|
Speaking of melons, watermelons grown in strange shapes are really popular expensive gifts to give people. Last week (in the same store that I found the Godzilla Egg) I came across this square watermelon, on sale for roughly $160!
And a couple days later a heart shaped melon: