The honeydew melon is a very child-friendly fruit. Because it appears so very unassuming, boring, even, to the naked eye, it does little to threaten the taste buds of the less-adventurous. It is an A-grade fruit of the highest nutritional quality; at only 45 calories per wedge, it is rich in potassium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. Make no mistake, however; the honeydew packs a wallop in terms of flavour.
At its best, the honeydew melon is both honey-sweet (naturally, given its name), and richly juicy. Much in the manner of its crimson-hued cousin the watermelon, the cool and refreshing flavour of the honeydew melon makes for a good palate cleanser. It’s difficult to resist.
In addition to this already-impressive list, the honeydew melon is also a highly compatible ingredient, making it a flavour that vies for the attention of cooks and bakers alike. It is easily incorporated into a variety of desserts and snacks – honeydew milk, ice-cream, sweets and candies, desserts, jellies, breads and buns among other things.
This wonderful fruit incidentally shares a name with the legendary Roman god of sunlight: Apollo. A fitting name, for a fruit that seems to draw sweetness from the very warmth of the sun. Since its introduction into international plantations off the nation of its origin, Taiwan, the Apollo melon has made splendid waves, and has been named MAHA 2012’s fruit-of-the-year. No surprise, given its immense popularity in the international spotlight. The commercially-produced hybrid melon is planted in large quantities in Indonesia; at present, 102 varieties exist in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand.
Not merely content to be yet another melon-in-the-market, however, the Apollo melon improves upon its predecessor’s already top-notch qualities. Flavour-wise, it combines the smooth, yet light flavour of milk and the rich sweetness of honey. In essence, the Apollo melon in its purest form is nectar – pure, fragrant nectar.
The plan at present? To plant and to harvest. FAMA has planted the Apollo melon in three Malaysian states: Kelantan, Perak and Selangor. It is a grand expanse of land indeed which houses these melons – 36 acres of open agriculture. In addition to this, FAMA is also currently in possession of 7,200 Apollo bags in fertigation.
It was only recently on the 4th of April 2012, that a group of ten farmers reaped the rewards of their very first harvest in the open fields of Kampung Banggol, Kota Bharu. A contract farming project born under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Malaysia, the D’Raja Banggol Project includes twenty-nine handpicked farmers, all of whom are a part of a fruitful breakthrough in the farming industry. FAMA’s job? To provide marketing support, while securing guaranteed floor prices as well as ensuring the existence of a market. After all, there is a great deal to look forward to; exportation is not out of the question, should local consumers respond in a positive manner.
From here on, the future can only be sweet.