If you thought cantaloupes are always orange, you’re about to learn some melon trivia! Cantaloupes can also be different shades of green and yellow on the inside and the Galia cantaloupe is one of these. There’s a chance you’ve actually seen these melons in the grocery store, although you may have thought they were North American cantaloupes.
Keep reading to learn about Galia cantaloupes — their history, what they taste like, and where to get them. We bet you’ll hunt for a Galia the next time you visit your grocery produce department.
The History of the Galia Cantaloupe
In the 1960s, Galia cantaloupes were developed in Israel at the Ne´ve Yaar Research Center of the Agricultural Research Organization. It was created as a cross between the green ‘Ha-Ogen’ honeydew and the ‘Krimka’ cantaloupe. The melon breeder responsible for the Cucumis melo var. Reticulatus, Dr. Zvi Karchi, named the F1 hybrid cantaloupe after his daughter, Galia, before its release in 1973.
The Galia melon quickly gained popularity and was widely exported for commercial growth in other parts of the world. Outside of Israel, Galia cantaloupes are grown in Europe (Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, and Portugal), North Africa (Egypt and Algeria), and Central and South American countries (Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, and Honduras).
In the United States, Galias are grown commercially in Florida greenhouses.
Characteristics of the Galia Cantaloupe
Not surprisingly, a Galia takes after both of its parents. It resembles a cantaloupe with raised netting over a yellow-green background on the outside, but inside it looks like a honeydew melon with yellowish-green flesh.
It’s round and small – approximately 2 to 3 pounds in weight. But don’t let the size fool you! It may be relatively small in comparison to other melon varieties, but it has lots of flavor.
What Does the Galia Cantaloupe Taste Like?
Gardeners tend to like growing sweeter melons, so the good news is that the Galia melon tastes even sweeter than the cantaloupe. So, while the outside resembles the cantaloupe, it has an even sweeter, tropical taste on the inside. Galia melons have a tropical, sweet flavor that is similar to cantaloupe, with just a hint of banana.
Galia cantaloupe can be served fresh and chilled, diced, sliced, in a nice salad. The melon makes a healthy snack or as part of your lunch or dinner. And because of their sweetness, they can be reserved for dessert.
Oh, and breakfast, too. Fresh fruit is always good in the morning, and you can serve it alongside scrambled eggs or add it to your morning cereal. And they make great smoothies and an interesting marmalade, too. If you make a smoothie from the melon, you might want to throw a banana in there as well. The Galia canteloupe, like most melons, is easy to prepare, requiring minimal effort.
Grilling enthusiasts will be happy to hear that you can grill this typically summertime melon right in your yard. Here’s an easy recipe you can try.
Babies can digest the Galia cantaloupe at about 8 months of age; however, some introduce it as early as 6 months of age. This is a great way to start a lifelong love affair with Galias.
The juicy sweet flesh isn’t the only thing you can enjoy – Galia melon seeds are edible too.
There are a lot of health benefits to the Galia melon.
The Galia cantaloupe thins the blood and reduces heart attack risks, and it’s packed full of vitamins, especially vitamin C.
While the Galia cantaloupe doesn’t burn fat, it can help you get leaner by reducing your energy intake. It can also be used to substitute snacks that are higher in calories, such as potato chips and cookies. It’s also filling and satisfying to eat.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, like running or bicycling, try eating some juicy melon before or after your workout to assist you in hydration and help to provide you with energy.
Galia cantaloupes are also low in sodium, and they are fat- and cholesterol-free. These lovely melons have a high content of vitamin A. They also contain bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and minerals such as iron, potassium, iron, and calcium, and it’s low in calories, with zero fat and cholesterol.
A 1/2 cup serving of Galia cantaloupe contains:
- Calories: 31
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
While they boost your immune system, they’re also healthy for your heart. There doesn’t seem to be a downside to the Galia melon. They’re not only delicious, but they’re healthy, too.
Where to Buy Galia Cantaloupes
Galias aren’t hard to find! Large grocery stores like Whole Foods, Albertson’s, and even Walmart mention them on their websites. Just remember, they look like regular North American cantaloupes, so you’ll need to read the labels!
Can I Grow This Cantaloupe at Home?
Yes, you can! You can grow the Galia melon in your garden or in a large pot if you’re strapped for space.
The non-frost hardy melon only takes seven days to germinate. However, for the melon to germinate, it will require at least 68 degrees F. (21 C.). For melons to thrive, they need rich, well-drained soil.
How to Grow Them in Pots
If you’re tight on space, you can still grow the Galia melons in a pot. You’ll need a fairly large pot for this, at least 16 inches deep and 14 inches wide. The container should be large enough to hold five gallons of potting soil.
You will need to find an area where the potted seeds will be exposed to at least eight hours of bright sunlight per day. And you will need something like a trellis or netting to hold the vines above the soil to prevent the melons and their roots from rotting. The trellis will also keep the plant from cutting itself in half on the edge of the container.
Be sure to use good quality potting soil, and mix in a small amount of an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer after filling up the pot.
Now take four or five Galia cantaloupe seeks and plant them in the center of the pot. The planting should be done approximately two weeks after your area’s last average frost date
Water it well after you cover the seeds with less than an inch (2.5 cm.) of potting soil, then cover it with a thin layer of mulch. And then in just one week, your seeds will germinate.
Harvesting Galia Cantaloupes
Most melons take about 100 days to reach maturity, so around the three-month mark, start checking your fruit for signs they’re ready for picking. When little cracks form on the skin around the vine stem, that’s your best indication that your cantaloupes are ready to be harvested.
To pick a ripe cantaloupe, just use your thumb to push the stem and separate it from the melon.
Galia melons will only stay good for one to two weeks after being harvested, but with their sweet flavor, that shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Picking a Ripe Galia in the Store
If you can’t (or don’t want to) grow cantaloupes, you can still enjoy Galias that you buy from the store. But how can you be sure you’re getting a nice, ripe fruit to enjoy?
A Galia melon should be firm all over, and it is ripe when there is a sweet, mouthwatering aroma to its tough yellow skin. Sometimes you’ll find a discolored patch on one side of the melon where the fruit has rested on the ground, but this won’t affect the quality of the fruit.
For more tips for picking the best store-bought cantaloupes, read our in-depth blog post guide.
Interesting Tidbits About the Galia Melon
- The Galia cantaloupe is suitable for dogs. Those good boys and girls will take in a lot of vitamins, and they’ll enjoy the yummy fruit, too. Just remember to remove the rind first!
- Galia melon can help reduce the risk of severe health conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and the chances of a stroke.
- Galia cantaloupes are available any time of the year. The melons can be grown in both hemispheres and exported around the world. They have a peak season in the spring through mid-fall.
Where to Buy The Seeds
You can purchase Galia melon seeds online. You can also buy them at local nurseries and in the garden centers of large home improvement stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Bring Home a Galia Cantaloupe on Your Next Shopping Trip
A delicious mashup of two favorites – honeydew and cantaloupe – the Galia cantaloupe stands on its own in the melon world. It’s an exotic creation that’s readily accessible to shoppers in the US. It’s also an easy-to-grow melon for home growers to add to their gardens year after year.
There are over 40 types of melons — to learn more about specific ones, read our cantaloupe blog posts.