Thursday, June 10, 2021

[Food] Cham-we (Korean Melon, 참외)


[Food] Cham-we (Korean Melon, 참외)

There are many fruits in the world, but I think this fruit is (probably) the only fruit that has 'Korean' in its name despite having been brought to Korea from China, and major species of Korean melon being invented in Japan.

There are few theories that explain the origins of Korean melon. One convincing theory is that melon originates from Guinea (Africa) and was spread to ancient Egypt and Europe - which became melons that most people know of - and was also spread to China and India. Melons from Africa came to Korea through China more than 1000 years ago, and soon became a special product in Korea with an unique scent and sweet taste that helped farmers increase profit.

The Korean melon has a milky flesh, sweet and honey-like juice and seeds that look like peeled sunflower seed. Korea used to have many species of Korean melon before the introduction of F1 species (major species of today with a yellowy skin and milky flesh) from Japan in 1957. However those original Korean melons were not as sweet as the F1 species so they quickly faded out of Korean history.

Frog Korean Melon (Original Korean Melon Species)

Striped Korean Melon (Original Korean Melon Species)

Apple Korean Melon (Original Korean Melon Species)

Korean melon is 'Cham-we (참외)' in pure Korean language. Cham-we(참외) means 'Not shabby, very good' which implies the meaning, 'Better taste and scent than cucumber'.

Today, the Korean melon is one of the most popular fruits in the Korean summer, quenching one's thirst with its sweet and refreshing juice. Its juice is very sweet and cool, so give it a try :)

Bon Appétit! 

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