It's cantaloupe season! That means nothing to me because I'd rather dig into berries, plums, nectarines,or just about any of the other fresh summer fruits. I suspect I might not be the only one who feels this way because I don't run across all that many melon recipes. Either that or everyone else thinks those orange-y melons are just fine the way they are and wants to dig right in without needing the enticement of a fancy recipe, but that is a possibility I don't want to contemplate. In no world is a musky slice of cantaloupe greater than a perfectly sweet-tart raspberry!
Even though they're not numerous, I have come across a few cantaloupe recipes that call for something beyond cutting them into balls and mixing them with grapes and bananas.
Thomas Mario's The Playboy Gourmet (1972) has a much classier recipe:
This play on the typical melon and prociutto pairing adds the extra frisson of excitement from hoping that the candied ginger loosely wrapped in the melon hollow will fall down one's date's decolletage and need to be retrieved.
If you're like me and automatically think "gelatin" when you see "mold," this recipe from The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery (1971) will be a bit of a surprise.
It's actually thickened with tapioca. Flavored with honey, coconut, and two kinds of melon, it sounds like a perfect "summer in hell" recipe to me, but your mileage may vary depending on your feelings about melon and/or coconut.
The most surprising/ least appetizing recipe might be from Collection of Recipes (Midway Assembly of God Women's Ministries Dept., 1978):
Cantaloupe Pie features cantaloupe cooked with sugar and butter "until mushy." (Are there any more appetizing words than those?) Mary M. Kellogg must have had great confidence in this recipe, though, as it makes two pies. Then again, maybe she thought the meringue (which I'm assuming was to be used as a topping and not a separate suggestion to make cookies to use up the leftover whites-- the instructions end pretty abruptly!) would be enough to trick people into thinking they were getting a far-yummier slice of lemon meringue pie. By the time they realized the awful truth, it would be too late to try to sneak that slice of pie back into the pie plate....
Honestly, I've had a bit of a fascination for cantaloupe pies for a while now. Way back during the first annual Pieathalon, I submitted a recipe for Seafoam Cantaloupe Pie and poor Yinzerella at Dinner Is Served 1972 had to make the damn thing. Retro Ruth at Mid-Century Menu made this recipe of her own volition several years earlier, so I'm clearly not the only one mesmerized by the siren song of the cantaloupe pie.
Now, get out there and enjoy a cantaloupe on my behalf. I'll enjoy some raspberries for you.