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Spain: Malaga's Charentais melon harvest delayed by the cold
Charentais melons are not very well-known by most people in Malaga, even though the province is a large producer. Malaga's production arrives earlier than that of other areas, such as Almeria, Murcia and the Levant, and the total volume averages between 6,000 and 7,000 tonnes. It also generates a lot of employment during the harvest period, which usually lasts from April to June.
The company Couteleau y García, based in Alhaurín de la Torre, has been devoted to the crop's cultivation for over a quarter of a century. The acreage in the province amounts to around 300 hectares.
Due to the rains of March and April and the cold that has been recorded in recent months in the cultivation areas, the start of the harvest has been delayed until May, as reported by the director of Couteleau y Garcia, Monica Aminet, who believes that this year's Charentais melon production could amount to around 6,500 tonnes.
As is also the case with other fruit crops, such as watermelons, the Charentais planting takes place in a staggered manner between January and March, in order to ensure that the harvest is also staggered and thereby prevent market saturation. While in previous campaigns the harvest kicked off at the end of April, this year it has been delayed to the first half of May.
The Charentais is a melon with a smooth, very thin and greenish skin, which becomes yellow as it ripens, forming some light grooves. They are very aromatic. The flesh has a deep orange colour and its taste is very sweet, with a smooth and creamy texture. It is ideal for salads, accompanied by ham, for sorbets, fruit salads and smoothies. The main destination for the melons of this variety grown in Malaga is France, a country that also has more than 14,000 hectares devoted to this fruit, due to the demand there is for it in the domestic market. According to Aminet, consumption increases in hot weather.
Publication date: 6/12/2018
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