When I was a kid, I hated cantaloupe. Refused to eat it willingly, though I seem to recall being required to try it every so often. There was just something about the taste that I despised. I couldn’t imagine what people saw in it.
Then one summer in undergrad, I tried cantaloupe one more time and discovered, to my shock, that I liked it. Since then, I have learned that cantaloupe can be very, very good when it’s ripe and in season. Still, every spring, when I cut into the first local(ish) melon of the year, it feels kind of like a dare. Some little part of me is always in the background yelling “but you hate cantaloupe!” And every year, I’m a little bit surprised when I shut that voice up with a mouthful of luscious, sweet melon.
As usual when I make my first pop of any type of fruit, I went with straight fruit, nothing added. I like to see how the fruit itself works before adding unnecessary sugar or other ingredients. So I threw a handful of cantaloupe chunks into my Baby Bullet and whirled away.
To my surprise, the cantaloupe whipped up frothy and almost creamy. I think I’d assumed it would break down into a watery puree like watermelon does. But this one was thick and much lighter in color than the chunks I’d started with.
I can’t decide whether I like this popsicle or not. On the one hand, the texture is great as soft and easy to eat as if I’d added sugar. And the cantaloupe flavor withstands the freeze nicely. On the other hand, the sweetness of the melon is significantly blunted by being frozen but I’m not certain adding sugar would really help with that. I didn’t dislike this pop, but I’d be hard pressed to claim I liked it, either.
I think maybe cantaloupe is one of those fruits that plays better with others than alone. As the season progresses, I’m going to have to keep incorporating cantaloupe into my ice pops in different flavor combinations. I have a feeling the perfect one is out there…