Are you a fruit lover?
Do you long for the calming sweetness of a juicy pear, or the mouth-watering freshness of a ripe watermelon?
If so, I’m right there with you.
Speaking of melons, I recently made an exciting new discovery at my local grocery store.
It was a new type of melon I had never seen, touched or tasted before:
After buying a pair, I quickly went into research mode out of pure curiosity.
I contacted the supplier, asked my international friends about it, and read up on every source I could find.
In this post, I’ll share with you what I learned about this melon, as well as its taste, texture and potential health benefits.
What Are Snowball Melons?
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A Snowball melon is a small to medium-sized melon with a nice, creamy-white coloring — sometimes with a yellowish tint.
Occasionally, it can have small, separated green stripes on it — which makes it kind of look like a dinosaur egg.
As you can see in the images, it’s a very appealing fruit.
Compared to other melons, like honeydew and cantaloupe, it has a smoother, more elegant exterior.
Because of this, it can be tempting to take a bite out of it right away.
However, from personal experience, I can assure you that it’s still best to cut it up first.
While more snowball melons are hitting the market than ever before, they are still quite rare.
Depending on where you are in the world, they may only be available for a short period each year.
Origins Of Snowball Melon
Snowball melon is the name that’s on the pair I brought home with me.
However, the distinctive fruit has a few different names associated with it.
If you’re a frequent visitor of specialty produce stores, you might’ve heard about Ivory Gaya — which is the second-most common name.
The melon can also be called Sweet Snowball, Snow Leopard or simply Snowball.
The snowball melon originates from Japan and Korea, where specialty farmers cultivated it through careful, selective breeding.
Considering Japan’s taste for high-end, luxurious fruits, this didn’t surprise me.
Even so, it’s mostly grown in USA, Brazil and China — where consumers are quickly getting a taste for its delightful flavor and consistency.
What Does Snowball Melon Taste Like?
Whenever we stumble across a new type of food, like snowball melon, we naturally think of two main questions:
- How healthy is it?
- What does it taste like?
Fortunately, I can answer both of these for you, so you don’t have to wonder.
Let’s tackle the easiest question first — how it tastes.
The simplest way to explain it would be “a sweeter version of honeydew melon”.
More specifically, I would describe it as a taste similar to honey with a hint of caramel undertones (almost candy-like).
I found that the flavor varied a bit between each melon — some were blander than I hoped for.
However, when I got a good one — oh man!
Its tender, white flesh will fill your mouth with watery deliciousness like few other foods can.
If you like honeydew melon, you’ll love the snowball — it really is like a tastier, more compact version of it.
After a few taste tests, I can safely say that it’s the best melon I’ve ever had.
It’s now among my top 10 favorite fruits, and I make sure to grab a pair each time I see them in the store.
Do you like sweet pears and honeydew melons?
If that’s the case, do yourself a favor and try out these snowballs.
It should not taste like a blander honeydew — if that’s the case, you’ve got yourself a bad one.
If so, buy some more and keep taste testing, and remember to pick the ones that are a bit heavier in relation to their size.
When you sink your teeth into a high-quality, fully-ripe snowball melon, you’ll know.
Alright, so we’ve established that the melon tastes like a small piece of heaven.
That’s cool and all, but how healthy is it, really?
After all, there’s plenty of things that taste great, but aren’t really that good for us.
So, how does it stack up against other plant foods?
Well, the good news is that it resembles other melons when it comes to nutritional content.
And the bad news?
Well, there really aren’t any — besides the rarity and price point, of course.
Here are the potential benefits of eating snowball melon, a.k.a. Ivory Gaya.
1. A Perfect Weight Loss Treat
Do you want to shed some body fat, but find yourself struggling with a sweet tooth?
Don’t worry, the snowball got you covered.
Even if you eat a whole melon in one sitting, you won’t have to worry about putting on extra pounds.
Just like other melons, it contains very few calories compared to its size.
This is because the majority of its weight is water.
One whole snowball melon (300 grams or so worth of flesh) only contains around 110 calories.
Compare that to 300 grams of marshmallows, for example, which would be a whopping 954 calories.
The snowball melon has almost 9 times less calories per gram!
That’s truly amazing when you consider how sweet and satisfying it is.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure & Lowers Chance Of Heart Attack
Snowball melon, like honeydew, is high in potassium.
Potassium is an essential mineral that acts as a counterbalance to sodium in our bodies.
Your body needs a balanced amount of sodium and potassium to produce energy, regulate fluid levels and manage kidney function.
Unfortunately, most Americans don’t get enough potassium in their diets.
According to studies, this can lead to heightened blood pressure plus an increased risk of having a heart attack.
Thankfully, this can easily be prevented by eating the right things — such as snowball melons and other potassium-rich plant foods.
3. Helps Maintain Your Muscle & Bones
Besides keeping your cardiovascular system healthy, potassium also plays a role in your body composition.
For one, it helps maintain an alkaline environment in your body — making sure you avoid acidosis.
Long-term acidosis can lead to loss in bone density as well as muscle wasting (no thanks!).
Regularly eating foods high in potassium has been shown to be highly protective against these nasty health issues.
If you eat many different plant foods on a daily basis, you probably don’t have to worry about your potassium levels.
However, it’s still nice to know that this tasty, juicy melon helps you with this.
4. Keeps Your Eyes Healthy
Snowball melon contains two potent phytonutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin.
More specifically, these are carotenoids, and are responsible for the pigmentation of your macula.
This pigmentation defends your eyes by filtering out the harmful effects of blue and ultraviolet light.
Some studies have concluded that lutein and zeaxanthin can lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Snowball melon is also high in vitamin C.
Almost all cells in your body depend on this essential nutrient.
It supports healthy capillaries, which supply fresh blood to your eyes.
Also, it aids your body in creating and maintaining connective tissue — including the collagen found in your cornea.
Sufficient vitamin C levels have been linked to healthier eyes and a decreased chance of getting cataracts in old age.
5. Nourishes Your Skin
Another major benefit of the rich vitamin C content is the effect it has on your skin.
Remember that the human body does not produce its own vitamin C — you need to get it from food sources, like snowball melons (or supplements).
As mentioned, snowballs are also (like all melons) filled with a large amount of water.
Being properly hydrated throughout the day has many positive effects on your body, including your skin.
Getting enough water has been shown to make your skin softer and more elastic in the long run.
Besides feeling healthier, having soft and pliable skin will reduce your chances of getting wrinkles and dry spots.
Your New Favorite Melon?
And that’s it!
Now you know all about the wonderful snowball melon.
If you get your hands on a prime specimen, you’ll enjoy a sweet, aromatic flavor that’s hard to beat.
Look for dense melons with smooth surface areas — no big blemishes or indents should be visible.
Yes, if you chew into a bad one, it’ll taste like a blander version of honeydew.
However, when you get a hold of a good one, as I said, you’ll know.
I truly hope you find this rare melon in your part of the world, and that you enjoy it as much as I do.