A fruit of the European cantaloupe family (see melon), the Charentais has a thin, smooth to slightly netted skin that ranges in color from dusty green to pale golden with darker green striping. The fine-textured flesh is orange, perfumy and very sweet with honey flavors. Charentais melons are typically available only at specialty produce markets and farmer's markets. Choose a melon that has a heady, sweet fragrance and is heavy for its size.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.