How to choose the best melons
Unless your local supermarket or farmers' market vendors have cut melons for you to see, feel, and perhaps even taste, it's hard to know when these hard-rinded fruits are at their ripest. We gleaned a few tips from FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org to choose the juiciest, sweetest watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.Unless your local supermarket or farmers' market vendors have cut melons for you to see, feel, and perhaps even taste, it's hard to know when these hard-rinded fruits are at their ripest. We gleaned a few tips from FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org to choose the juiciest, sweetest watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons.
How to choose the best watermelon
According to the experts at Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters, choose symmetrical watermelons with dried stems and yellowish undersides that are dull in color. A white underside indicates immaturity. The best watermelons will feel heavy for their size. Hold the watermelon and tap -- the vibrations should be felt in your bottom hand. Keep in mind that watermelons do not continue to ripen after harvest, and need to be refrigerated once it is cut. Try this Watermelon Lime Salad!
Note: If you happen to bring home a watermelon with grainy or bland-tasting flesh, take it back to the supermarket and ask if you can choose another. Most produce managers will be happy to keep you happy.
How to choose the best cantaloupe
Opt for cantaloupes that are fragrant, symmetrical in shape, and that feel heavy for their size with no visible bruises. Pick ones with a yellow or cream undertone and with a stem end that gives in to gentle pressure. In addition, look for a tight, well-defined “netting” pattern on the melon’s surface. Understand that cantaloupes will soften after harvest, but do not increase in sweetness. Keep cantaloupe refrigerated once its cut. Sip on this Flaxmilk Cantaloupe Smoothie!
Note: Though they may be a little more expensive, if you're unsure about choosing the best whole cantaloupes, consider asking the produce clerks and farmers' market vendors to cut one open for a sample.
How to choose the best honeydew
Choose well shaped honeydew melons that are nearly spherical and have a stem end that gives slightly to gentle pressure. Honeydews should have a waxy, not fuzzy, surface and feel heavy for their size. Look for ones with a hint of yellow but no noticeable green tinge. Like other melons, honeydews will soften after harvest, but they do not get sweeter. Sink your spoon into this Honeydew Vanilla Sorbet!
Visit FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org for melon recipes and how to select less well known, but great-tasting melons, like Galia, Sharlyn, and Crenshaw melons.