Farmers markets are hot in Chicago and every other urban area. Part of their appeal is the absolutely amazing flavor of the wares there, especially in comparison to the lifeless lumps of blegh found in the produce sections of Dominick's and Da Jewels. Early on in its existence, the hilarious blog Stuff White People Like wrote about the love caucasians have for buying beets and kohlrabi from people under a tent, rather than from The Man. Doing so feeds our desire to be environmentally conscious, socially responsible localvores, so we can pat ourselves on the back for being cool and awesome and better than everyone else.
We at BDJ Labs are no more immune to the lure of garden-fresh green things than any other city dweller. We fell victim to the siren call this weekend, in fact, and couldn't resist the tempting sweet smell of a cantaloupe the size of a yoga ball. We took it back to BDJ HQ and wolfed down half of it before we could take a second breath, then chopped the other half up for later, with one lucky hunk of melon reserved for a bacon test.
This one was kind of a no-brainer, seeing as we've all marveled at the wondrous combination of melon and prosciutto. The one variable we weren't sure of was how baking would treat the delicate melon, so we took a piece closer to the rind, thinking that its firmer texture would render it more capable of taking the heat. That might have saved it--the piece mushed up a bit, but not too terribly much, and we ended up with a yummy taste treat. We're not sure if we'd recommend this for a party, because the consistency is a little too soft, but it sure was a tasty failure, for lack of a better word.
The conclusion: Bacon + cantaloupe = delicious semi-success