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Every June, the town of Cavaillon, France, celebrates with a three-day festival of events marking the season’s first Cavaillon melon harvest. There is actually a 'Knights of the Order' of the Melon to help organize the events. In addition to simply eating them, Cavaillon melons are served roasted, fried, and candied. Some local chefs use them to make liqueur and syrups.
The Cavaillon melons are grown from seed rather than plants and take around 80 days to fully mature. Their growers tend to them as children in their final days so they’re not picked too soon or late. Knowing when to pick them comes with time and experience.
The Cavaillon melons are believed to have been transported to Provence when the papacy moved from Italy to France in the 14th century. The papal summer residence was in Cantalupo, Italy - renowned for its cantaloupe melons.
Historically. The valuable melons were actually used as a currency of sorts in Cavaillon. They were also given to foreign dignitaries and religious leaders who visited. So the fruit has a long history of it's appeal to the Elite.
Cavaillon melons sold in Europe today are still grown in Provence. To be sold as such they must be certified by the Cavaillon melon consortium and bear the label Melon de Cavaillon. To be labeled a Melon de Cavaillon, the melons must be inspected for density, sugar content and appearance. Those bearing imperfections are excluded. So few melons pass the test. To find them outside of France, even in nearby Germany, can be difficult. There aren’t enough for export and they’re really best enjoyed from June through August while traveling the south of France.
Most distinctively, the Cavaillon is a long-lasting melon. With it's orange flesh, deep flavor and perfume is a particularly refreshing fruit due to its very high water content (90%). The calories it are not very high: on average 35 to 40 kcal per 100g depending on the sugar content, which can vary from 6-14%, but is most often between 10-12%.
Scientifically proven, the melon’s principle health benefit is: “The melon is particularly rich in the provitamin A (beta-carotene) with all the great antioxidant properties that go along with it.
The Beta-carotene in the Cavaillon melon transforms into vitamin A in the body. This is an essential vitamin for the growth and development of cells, vision and the immune system.
The melons are also a great source of vitamin C with 25mg per 100g. Vitamin C is necessary in the production of collagen and healing, and it is also a solid antioxidant. Melons also contain B vitamins but in moderate quantities.
As for oligo-elements, melons are rich in potassium, with a high level of 300mg per 100g portion. This stimulates diuresis, the elimination of urine. Secondary to this, the melon also provides supplies of magnesium and calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and iodine.
Orange flesh melon (as the Cavaillon), are also good sources of bioflavonoids and other vegetable pigments, which could help prevent certain types of cancer and heart disease. Finally, it is important to note that the melon has useful fiber, which helps the intestines to function well.
Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh, an esteemed 'master' of the delicate art of cosmetic medicine, uses the Cavaillon melon in beauty formulas designed to help fight free radicals and support the promotion of collagen. Supermodels Elle Macpherson and Cindy Crawford (Meaningful Beauty), actresses Felicity Kendal and Anna Friel, and queen of pop Kylie Minogue and many other celebrities, models and socialites flock to his exclusive offices in London and Paris to experience Dr. Sebagh's renowned anti-aging and skin beauty treatments.
Brought up in Paris, Dr. Sebagh began his career over 25 years ago upon graduating from the University of Paris in 1979, where he earned his Medical Doctorate and became a qualified Cosmetic Facial Surgeon
Now a leading world expert in medical anti-aging and aside from Cindy Crawford's Meaningful Beauty skin care products, Dr. Jean Louis Sebagh has created his own unique skin care. Using only the latest skin care technology and know-how, Dr Sebagh works with his team of top French chemists to create skin care that is modern, potent and above all, effective.
With little surprise. The Cavaillon melon plays a key role in Meaningful Beauty and his own skin care anti-aging regiments.