How do you know when a Piel de Sapo (Santa Claus Melon) is ripe?

Piel de Sapo (Santa Claus Melon)

Santa Claus melon can be bought when not fully ripe and allowed to ripen. It will take several days or a few to several weeks, depending the stage or ripeness, when you bought it. Mine took 6-8 weeks to ripen, so be patient. By then the blossom end (apex) was quite soft. This is the best test for ripeness.

When fully ripe, the Santa Claus melon will have a vibrant yellow hue and a soft blossom end (apex) that yields to gentle pressure.

Because of its thick rind, this melon does not release a tell-tale aroma when ripe. Typically, the brighter the yellow of the melon rind, and the softer the blossom end, the riper and sweeter it is.

It keeps well in the fridge even after cutting in a plastic wrap.

  • Due it its sweet flesh, the Christmas melon can be used in fruit salads, tarts, sorbets and sauces.
  • It makes excellent puree so can be used in gazpacho, smoothies and cocktails.
  • Its flavour pairs well with creamy cheeses, cured meats, mint, basil, citrus fruit and extra virgin olive oil. Last Updated: April 25, 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

8 thoughts

  1. The time to ripen is a very long time! Two melons purchased with a large portion yellow, perhaps where it was on the warm ground while growing on the farm. Waited a full 30 days and it still did not ripen. Still more green than yellow This long time is not stated as necessary on any website. I gave up after one month, cut it, and discovered a quite unripe and not sweet tough melon.

    The sticker on the melon says “”EXTRA SWEET”. Nowhere does it say how long it may take to ripen! My guess is it still may not be ripe in two or three months. Other melons ripen in a few days, and are nicely sweet. Where are the full details about how to hasten ripening, and how long to wait. I will no longer purchase the Sant Claus melon, when there are so many other sweet melons that ripen nicely.

    Shouldn’t this melon be ripened in the ground before shipping to the market? Why no instructions for the innocent consumer???

    1. Winter melons ripen slowly so they can be picked when mature but not fully ripe and they will ripen slowly in storage. Mine took 6-8 weeks to ripen and I had it in the fridge for another two weeks after cutting and it was still fresh, sweet and juicy. The best test for ripeness is to press the blossom end (apex) and make sure it yields to pressure before you cut it open. You have to be patient with these guys. They are picked at the end of summer and can last up to Christmas. I really loved the taste but hated the long waiting. I hope this helps. Best wishes!

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