Sunday, July 19, 2020

Courge musquée

This variety of winter squash is called "muscade." It will look like a tan-colored pumpkin when mature, kind of the same color as a butternut squash, another related variety. Like the rouge vif d'Etampes, I've grown these before. We should have a nice pumpkin patch this fall. And a big job of processing the flesh for the freezer.

This one's got a lot of growing to do!

I had a good market day on Saturday, bringing home a melon, some radishes, and some tomatoes. I also stopped into a charcuterie in town for some jambon cru (dry-cured ham) to eat with the melon. I'm not sure where in France the ham came from, but the sign at the shop said jambon sec (dried ham) and I read that's a specialty of the Ardennes region of France. We ate half the melon and ham as our appetizer yesterday and it was delicious. We lucked out with a good melon again.

If you've not been to France in the summer, you might not be familiar with the typical pairing of cured ham and Cavaillon or Charentais melons. The sweet flavor of the melon, similar to the North American cantaloupe, goes very well with the saltiness of the ham. I know that dry-cured ham is made all over Europe, especially in Italy (prosciutto, Parma), Spain (Serrano), and Portugal as well as France (Bayonne).


  1. What a wonderful photo. And oh how I love prosciutto and melon... and jamon serrano and melon; so I'm sure I'd love your version.

  2. There is also the jambon de Mayence in Germany.

  3. I wish we had Cavaillon melons in the US. I've never tasted any better than those.

  4. I agree with Evelyn.....wish we had those's always hit & miss here...I have had to pitch 2 watermelons recently for being tasteless and only buy western cantaloupes

  5. Starting with tomatoes, most fruits are tasteless in the US, picked green for longer shelf life! Money?

    1. The exception would be at local farmers' markets.

  6. Homegrown everything is better! I never have had the luxury of eating/tasting a Cavaillon cantaloupe but I have read about them for many years. Ham and just about all fruit are tasty together, imo.

  7. Beautiful photo! I bet the melon and ham was delicious.

  8. mitch, it's a sure sign of summer!

    bettyann, :)

    chm, didn't mean to leave Germany out. I'm sure most countries have their own versions, with the possible exception of Israel and the muslim world. ;)

    evelyn, a good cantaloupe comes close!

    melinda, I don't remember tasteless watermelons from summers in New York, but I do remember them in California.

    mary, especially pineapple... LOL!

    michael, it was! It all depends on getting a good, ripe melon.


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