How to Pick a Good Melon
Melons, including watermelon and honeydew, are seasonally summer fruits, with their peak season in North America being between April through August each year.
However they can commonly be found throughout most of the year, due to being grown in parts of the world where the climate is always warm.
There are two common varieties of cantaloupe that are sold and eaten most around the world: the European cantaloupe (Cucumis melo cantalupensis) which derives its name from the Italian papal village of “Cantalup”, and secondly the North American cantaloupe.
The European cantaloupe is more green than orange. While the North American kind is the type usually sold in the US which has a deep orange color.
Although it’s known as “cantaloupe” throughout the U.S, many other nations refer to it as “muskmelon”.
There are many different types of hybrid cantaloupe melons that exist around the world in different marketplaces which combine elements from the two most popular varieties mentioned above.
Because of this, cantaloupe can be found in many different sizes, colors, and tastes.
In order to judge ripeness and taste of cantaloupe you can look for a few things:
- Without cracking into it, pick up the melon and check out its skin. You want to avoid one with many cracks and big spots of discoloration.
- Looks under the webbing of the cantaloupe and see if there is any color coming through the webbing. For regular orange cantaloupes, avoid white look skin under the web-like texture on the surface.
- Look for one that feels heavy for its size and that has a clean rind. Weight means it has a better sugar and water content, which usually means a richer and sweeter fruit.
- Try the thump test…hold the melon in one hand off any surface and thump it or flick it with your fingers (you can also tap it with your knuckle). If it sounds like it echoed or sounded a little hollow, then that’s a good sign!
- Fresh fruit should smell like the fruit. Smell the skin or stem-side of the melon and make sure it smells like the fruit. It should have a subtle warm, sweet smell.
At home, first wash the whole fruit in cold running water to get rid of dirt and potential bacteria. Most people skip this step, but it can be important to do before cutting into the fruit.
Depending upon the way you want to use the cantaloupe and the size you desire. You can either cut cantaloupe into slices, cube it, or use an ice cream scoop or spoon to cut the cantaloupe into balls.
Before cutting the melon you can simply store cantaloupes in a cool, well-ventilated place like the refrigerator or on your counter.
However, once you cut into the cantaloupe, sections should be kept inside the refrigerator to prevent them from going bad or developing harmful salmonella bacteria.
It’s best to avoid buying and consuming cantaloupes with visible cracks and cuts for this reason, since bacteria can easily thrive there.
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 2 mins | Total time: 7 mins | Serves: 10
- One Cantaloupe
- Chop up a cantoloupe and put in Vitamix. Use plunger to blend withou
- Pour into popsicle molds.
- Freeze overnight.