Melons are members of a very wide family of trailing annual vines, which also includes squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. They have large broad leaves, stems covered in light prickles and small yellow flowers. The fruit themselves are soft fleshed with a central cavern containing seeds, all surrounded by a thick protective rind.
There are two groups of melons available; watermelons and muskmelons. The watermelon group includes all varieties of watermelon, while the muskmelon group includes all other melons, including Honeydew melons. There are two groups of melons within muskmelons; smooth-skinned and netted, of which honeydew are smooth skinned. Muskmelons typically come into season during late summer and early autumn.
Galia Melons; The Galia is a type of hybrid melon originating from a cantaloupe-honeydew cross, larger than a cantaloupe, and with deep green flesh. The name Galia is the feminine form of the Israeli name Gal (meaning 'wave').
They are sweet and aromatic, with a flavor more like a cantaloupe than a honeydew, although with a complexity of their own. Ripeness is measured not by softness at the stem but rather by color and fragrance. Choose melons that are firm with a sweet fragrance. Look for fruit heavy for its size, yielding slightly under pressure.
Keep cut or ripe fruit in refrigerator for up to three days. Ripen at room temperature. A quick tip though - always give the skin a wash in warm soapy water before cutting. While you won't eat the skin, any impurities on it could be carried onto the flesh by the knife, and there have been some cases in the United States recently of salmonella contamination of melons this way.