Monday, July 21, 2014

東郷 平八郎 And Hiram Buckbee

Illinois Extension Service straightens us out on the history and naming of the melon which is called cantaloupe.  Basically, while all cantaloupes are muskmelons, not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.

Personally, I can't stand some of the muskmelons for exactly the reason they are called muskmelons...the perfume of the ripe fruit...or as I perceive it, the stink!  My husband loves them and their aroma. I wonder how many people's noses smell a nice aroma and how many smell rotting vegetation.

I wondered how many of Buckbee's varieties are still around.  Then I got side tracked by his Admiral Togo Melon!  He was a very popular figure, "termed by Western journalists as "the Nelson of the East", after Horatio Nelson, the British admiral who defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar." (Wikipedia)
As far as I can tell, the Admiral Togo melon is no more.  
Most melons varieties are no more when you get down to it.  

Good Link: Mother Earth News article on heirloom melons and their history by William Woys Weaver.