A double misnomer because the tropical winter melon is harvested in the summer and is a squash, rather than a melon. The name "winter" comes from the snowlike blotching that occurs on mature squashes. Winter melons can range in color from pale to dark green, are shaped somewhat like a watermelon and can weigh up to 100 pounds. The porous flesh is white and has a flavor reminiscent of zucchini. Winter melon is available year-round in Chinese markets and sometimes in specialty produce stores. It's typically sold in large slices wrapped in plastic. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before using, peel off the skin and scoop out the seeds. It should be cooked briefly and is popular in stir-fry dishes as well as various Asian soups, especially winter melon soup, which is classically served in a scooped-out winter-melon shell. Winter melon is also called ash pumpkin (or ash gourd), dong qua (or dung gwa), Chinese preserving melon and winter gourd (or winter squash).