The Sprite melon is well adapted to North Carolina growing conditions and can be successfully produced from the middle of June through September in eastern North Carolina. This unique melon has a fruity flavor that resembles a cross between a honeydew and pear.
The Sprite melon also has a distinct appearance in which the rind turns from cream to white with yellow mottling when ripe. The flesh is white and crisp much like an apple. The fruit will average from 1 to 1.5 pounds making it a convenient snack size for the consumer. The melon surface will produce a few brown concentric 'sugar cracks' at the calyx (blossom end) when the fruit has a high sugar content. Sugar content in Sprite melons can reach over 18 percent, which is 25 to 30 percent higher than most other melons. One serving provides 150 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and has 0 calories from fat.
Produced in North Carolina under the "Carolina Specialties" label, the Sprite is carefully harvested, cooled, and shipped under constant quality control. Sprite Melons are available in North Carolina from late June - mid September. This insures the customer will receive an exceptional melon at the peak of flavor.
Marketing surveys have shown the Sprite to be preferred by consumers when compared to other specialty melons. The unique flavor, attractive appearance, and high nutritional value, results in strong demand from consumers who have sampled a Sprite.
Tri-Pepper Sprite Melon Salsa Cruda
with Grilled Chicken
Salsa is the Mexican word for "sauce" which can apply to both cooked or fresh mixtures. Our Tri-Pepper Sprite Melon Salsa Cruda is an uncooked salsa, a pleasing concoction of chopped red, yellow and orange bell peppers, a hint of red onion and cilantro mixed with the refreshing Sprite melon. Marinated simply in lime juice, the apple-like texture of the Sprite adds a delightful crunch to the salad-like salsa, perfect with grilled chicken. Easy to prepare. Serves 4.
1 Sprite melon
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove rind and seeds from Sprite melon. Cube into 1/2" dice. Combine in a glass bowl with chopped peppers, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Let sit several hours in the refrigerator before serving. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill. Serve with an abundant spoonful of salsa on the side.
Sprite Melon Raspberry Smoothie
The Sprite melon is paired with fresh raspberries in this refreshing thirst-quenching smoothie.1 Sprite melon
12 ounces raspberry yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
2/3 cup crushed ice
Remove rind and seeds from melon; dice to yield 2 cups. Place yogurt, orange juice, raspberries, crushed ice and diced melons into blender. Puree 15-20 seconds until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses, garnish with lime slices and serve immediately.
1 1/2 cups mashed, fresh ripe Sprite melon
2 cups non-dairy whipped topping
Dash of salt
Fresh mint leaves
Sprinkle dash of salt into bowl of mashed melon. Stir. Fold mashed melon mixture into whipped topping. Spoon mixture into a 6-cup container, freeze. To serve, spoon into dessert dish and garnish with mint leaves.
Visit the NC Fresh Link site for a directory of growers for the Sprite Melons and other fresh North Carolina fruits and vegetables. For more information on Sprite Melons and the Specialty Crops Program contact:
Nick Augostini, Marketing Specialist
North Carolina Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services
202 Cunningham Road
Kinston, NC 28501
Recipes courtesy of Tastefull Publications.