My July column for French Property News
Cavallion Melons: The Taste of Summer in Provence
Summer in Provence means the serenade of cigales, vast fields of lush lavender and the scent of sweet melons. Not just any melons, however, but the world’s most ambrosial melons and the pride of Cavaillon, a town in Vaucluse situated approximately 25km south-west of Avignon.
Revered by kings and clergy in the 14th century, these fragrant gourds find their origins in Italy and were introduced to France by the popes of Avignon around 1495. By the middle of the 19th century, they were being exported to Paris, quickly gaining fame in the rest of Europe. Even prolific author and gourmand Alexandre Dumas was so enamoured with the fragrant melons that when Cavaillon’s soon-to-be-opened library asked him to donate some of his works in 1864, he readily agreed to offer his entire oeuvre, asking only to receive twelve perfectly ripe melons delivered to him every year for the rest of his life in return.