The piel de sapo, like Itaueira’s staple melon, the canary, is white-fleshed and very sweet, Lima said. But it is larger than the canary and has a crunchier texture, making it a good fit for foodservice fresh-cut use, he said.
Itaueira will begin shipments on a small scale, with just two pallets per load of canary melons, Lima said. During its September to March season, Itaueira ships once a week to New Jersey and New York. It also plans to ship every 15 days to Long Beach beginning Nov. 26; Miami beginning Dec. 3; and Houston beginning Dec. 5.
If the PMA success of two of its other varieties — the galia and a mini seedless watermelon — is any indication, Itaueira could be exporting them to the U.S. in 2011, Lima said.
The galia is smaller than the canary, offering retailers the option of a lower price point, and more yellow-fleshed than the canary and the piel de sapo, Lim said.
By Markets Editor Andy Nelson