Melon has been cultivated in the province of Mantua since time immemorial. Its importance led to the creation of the Consortium of the Mantua Melon in 2003 and the Protected Geographical Indication in 2013. The main production areas of the Mantua Melon are Viadana, Sermide and Rodigo-Gazoldo degli Ippoliti.
Cultivation and varieties of the Mantua Melon
Melon is not sown. Melon is planted. The plants are obtained from select seeds in nurseries and grafted when necessary. The period of the planting depends on the terrain and the climate, but generally begins in March and continues all through June-July. It is possible to develop a production that covers the whole summer. The plants need clipping in order to obtain the best fruits. Harvesting must be carried out manually, in the coolest hours of the day, in order to avoid any stress to the fruit. The most common variety is the reticulated.
Nutritional facts and recipes
Few people know that melon has an excellent balance between nutrients and calories. The calorie count for a 500g portion amounts to 160kcal, whereas it contains about 950μg vitamin A and 160mg vitamin C. Please note that the daily dietary intake for an adult is 700μg and 50-60mg respectively. The melon contains a high percentage of water and minerals, such as potassium. It is known for its extraordinary thirst-quenching power. The freshness of the melon is emphasised after a meal, in a dessert or a fruit salad. When consumed cold during or immediately after a meal, melon can slow the digestive process. It is therefore recommended that it is eaten on an empty stomach. The most popular recipe has it paired with dry-cured ham and seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, but it can also be used in a risotto.