Description: Meloa de Santa Maria — Açores’ is a reticulated cantaloupe melon of the species Cucumis melo L.
The fruit is round to oval in shape, has a markedly reticulated rind that is greenish when unripe and turns greenish yellow as it ripens and soft, aromatic orange-coloured flesh that tastes sweet and juicy when ripe.
Production method: The degree of maturation may also be evaluated by the color change: the great harvest the fruit presents yellow and with the peduncle has sometimes a striped look green.
The ripeness can still be assessed in a more technical way, the determination of Brix in fruit samples, the minimum concentration of 9 Brix in Meloa of Santa Maria - Azores.
At harvest, it should be used scissors or a sharp knife to separate the fruit of the plant. Preferably it will be duty to leave a portion of 1 to 3 cm of stem attached to the fruit, and commercially admits to presenting Meloa Santa Maria - Azores stemless.
The harvesting should be more careful as possible in order not to damage the branch to ensure the food of the young fruits.
Special features: The harvest Meloa of Santa Maria - Azores is special, since this fruit has certain peculiarities that affect their great harvest.
Production area: The defined geographical area comprises all the parishes on the island of Santa Maria in the Archipelago of the Azores.
History: As a crop melons were introduced by colonists on the island of Santa Maria around the 16th century and then continued to be grown as a garden crop. More recently, in the seventies, emigrants from America began to introduce hybrid melon varieties. Local growers soon realised that these new varieties grew very well and produced high quality fruit, in addition to having excellent commercial potential, and gradually increased their production area. For almost 20 years efforts focused on finding the melon variety that best adapted to Santa Maria's soil and climatic conditions and met the islanders' demands.
The specific characteristics of ‘Meloa de Santa Maria — Açores’ derive from the soil and climatic conditions of the island and the local production methods.
Also important is the producers' knowledge of the fruit and method of production.
Control and certification body
Comissão Técnica de Controlo e Certificação - Instituto de Alimentação e Mercados Agrícolas
Publication in the Portuguese official journal
Despacho n.º 1559/2013 de 3 de setembro de 2013