LARGE MELONS                                The zucca melon was grown in the region in the 1930s and 1940s, but today it has become a rarity.                                (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

LARGE MELONS The zucca melon was grown in the region in the 1930s and 1940s, but today it has become a rarity. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Zucca melons were once used in fruitcakes

The zucca melon, introduced to the Okanagan in the late 1930s, was once used in fruitcakes and jams

The zucca melon was introduced to the Okanagan Valley in 1938.

The weight of this zucca melon could reach up to 45 kilograms (100 pounds.) Processing the plant included removal of the skin and seeds.

The remaining portion of the plant was tasteless but it easily absorbed colour and flavour.

The melon was diced, dyed and flavoured and used in fruitcakes and jams. In 1942, the Okanagan Valley produced 400 tons of processed melon and by 1947; 1,400 tons.

Today it has become a rarity, with the Grist Mill in Keremeos as one of the few places where it is still grown.

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