Appetizers

August 20, 2014

How many melons can you name?

More than 40 varieties, mostly heirlooms, will be part of Saturday’s Melon Mania at Maple Rock Gardens.

Appetizers

Dishing the news about the Sacramento area food scene

Melon Mania is shaping up to be tons of fun and flavor with more than 40 varieties of melon ready to hit their peak of ripeness.

We got a sneak peak of Saturday’s salute to heirloom melons at Maple Rock Gardens in Penryn. The farm and gardens are about 45 minutes from downtown Sacramento.

We saw — and tasted — many melons during our preview with farmer Jakob Stevens, who planted and tends five acres of melons at Maple Rock Gardens.

The whole project was an experiment, said owner Scott Paris. Among many things, it showed that melons actually grow pretty well in Placer County —particularly some of the lesser known heirlooms.

This photo shows off a wheelbarrow full of these rare treats. Clockwise from top are: Ogen (showing green flesh), Tigger (one of three in this photo), Thai Golden Ball, Prescott Fond Blanc, another Tigger, sliced Thai Golden Ball (showing its bright green flesh), sliced Banana melon, Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon, one more Tigger, Casaba, Moon and Stars watermelon, whole Banana melon and an Orangeglo watermelon (center).

The Banana melon was spectacular; very tropical with a papaya-like flavor and consistency. The Ogen and Tigger smell as good as they look.

Discover for yourself Saturday during Melon Mania. Tickets are on sale now at High Hand Nursery in Loomis.

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