Monday, August 10, 2009

The last pickle

I made too many pickles last year, had to start pushing them on people this spring. (That was a good survey of palate. Some were thrilled, others shunned the acidic treat.) I decided to exercise restraint this year. I pickled a modest amount of beans, beets/carrots, dill pickles, and one jar of fennel. I finished, put them away, felt satisfied.

Then I tried pickled watermelon at a restaurant. Slightly sweet. Slightly tart. Was that cinnamon? I wanted more. When discussing melon pickling with my friend Drew, he suggested I try pickling Crenshaw melon. And so I did.

At the market, there was a lovely selection. Never having tasted it myself, I asked one of the employees if it tasted like honeydew. He replied, “It tastes like cantaloupe, but better.” At checkout, the clerk said, “Crenshaws are my favorite.” So much support for one melon.

Indeed it is tasty fruit. An almost vanilla aftertaste. After cutting out and eating the orange fruit, I sliced the paler part of the melon, near the rind, to make pickles. With a sweetened vinegar mix, I added a bit of cinnamon stick, a few cloves, and a couple peppercorns. I can’t promise I won’t be tempted to pickle the next ravely reviewed fruit or vegetable, but I am hoping this will be the last this summer. Especially since I am out of vinegar.

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