I was at my local Kroger yesterday and I spotted this strange new fruit, about the size of a mango. It was labeled as a “Sprit Fruit” with an E scribbled in. Most of the pile was white but a few were starting to yellow. I had no idea which were ripe or not, whether they were supposed to be yellow when ripe or if it meant they went bad. Canteloupe are easy to tell when they’re ripe because of the smell, but I couldn’t make out any kind of smell from these. So finally I just picked one that was half white, half yellow, thinking at least one side had to be good to eat.
When I got home I washed the outside really well and sliced it in half. It was very soft and easy to cut. I think this particular fruit may have been extremely ripe (but not in a bad way) because it was so juicy. I spooned out all the seeds (there were a lot). I got out my melon baller and started with the small end. Even with the smaller side, I was still hitting the rind every time I tried to ball out the melon. There didn’t appear to be any inedible part between the rind and the rest of the fruit, it was all uniform in color and texture.
I gave up with the baller after a while and just spooned out the rest. By the time I was done there was juice everywhere, it was a very juicy melon. The texture of it was much like honeydew or canteloupe, not as crisp as watermelon. It had a very smooth texture. It seemed very sweet, but I don’t know if blindfolded I would be able to tell the difference between this and a honeydew. I also tried to eat a bit of the rind since I had cleaned it, just to see what it was like. It was very tough, like a mango rind, but still edible. I’m not sure why anyone would want to eat it though.
I did some research on the Sprite Melon and supposedly it came from Japan, and recently started being farmed in North Carolina. I can see why it’d be popular in Japan, since they like their food in small portions, and it tends to look cleaner than most other melons. But for most practical purposes I think I would stick with a honeydew melon. At least if you’re making a fruit salad or fruit tray, a honeydew would add some color.
Some sites suggested the Sprite melon has a flavor like a pear, and a crisp texture like an apple, but I didn’t experience that with my melon. It was just very much like honeydew. Perhaps mine was overripe. I think I’ll try one that’s all white next time at Kroger and see if I still have the same experience.