Recently I travelled to Lisbon, and, as part of a tailored Feel Like Locals tour (highly recommended, see my review on TripAdvisor) I visited the Mercado do Campo de Ourigue and I found a new fruit. I asked the stall holder what it was and was told, “a pera meloa…..a mix of a pear and a melon”. Of course, in the interests of research of Saucy Dressings, I had to try one.

The helpful stall holder then told me that it wasn’t yet ripe, not ready for eating. It did indeed feel rock hard.

I waited a week (keeping it out of the fridge), and it still felt pretty firm, but I thought it was now or never, so I cut into it. Inside, it looked a little like a mini-honeydew melon. But it tasted (and felt – it was still crisply hard and not too juicy) like an under-ripe pear….not much taste, with a slightly more fibrous texture than a pear.

pear-melon with walnut and honey

Inside it looked a bit like a mini honeydew.

What should one do with this fruit?

Because it tasted more of pear than anything else, I decided to treat it as a pear.


Experiment 1 – with blue cheese and chestnut honey

I tried eating my pear-melon with a robustly flavoured blue cheese. The cheese completely overwhelmed it. Not a success.

pear-melon with blue cheese and honey

Pear-melon with blue cheese and honey.

Experiment 2 – with a walnut and chestnut honey

This combination was much better.

pear-melon with walnut and honey

Pear-melon with walnut and honey.


But there is still no getting around the fact that the whole pear-melon experience is distinctly underwhelming!

Better to buy a decent pear – a Passe Crassane for example!



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