Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon

Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon

Honeydew is another summer favorite fruit. If you missed the prior articles about the watermelon and cantaloupe you can read about them here: Articles on Melons.

It’s so disappointing when you get a melon that just doesn’t taste good. It may not be sweet enough or not ripe enough. It just makes the whole melon eating experience a let-down. That’s why we’re going to ask Mark a vendor at our local Farmer’s Market to show us how to pick out just the right honeydew melon so you can get the most flavorful, enjoyable melon possible.

Squeeze the ends of the honeydew melon. You want them to have a little bit of a give to it, as that means it’s ripe.

Look at the color of the outside of the honeydew melon, the more yellow it is, the better. Look for a golden hue to it.

The skin will have almost a sticky texture when it’s at its ripest.

Brown spots on the rind of a honeydew melon are kind of like brown spots on a banana. That’s where the fruit is the sweetest. So don’t shy away from a few brown spots.

Pay attention to the shape of your honeydew melon. You want it to be spherical in shape for the tastiest melon.

Weight matters, too. Because melons consist of mostly water, you want one that is heavier than it appears. This will be the juiciest melon.

Use all of your senses when checking your honeydew melon. Give it a smell. If it has a nice, pleasant aroma, then it’s going to taste good too.

Mark grabbed a honeydew melon up to his ear and started shaking it side to side. He said, “If you can hear the seeds rolling around in there, then it’s ripe.” I tried it, but couldn’t hear the seeds. He said that one takes practice.

Tapping on the melon with your knuckle and hearing a hollow sound, means the melon is ripe.

I asked Mark about honeydews that are orange inside?

orange flesh honeydew

An organic orange flesh honeydew…Picture credit: http://www.burpee.com

Mark said, “If you find honeydew with orange-flesh, that’s okay. This is a new kind of honeydew which is easier to tell if it’s ripe, the more orange it is, the better. However, be warned – it might not have as sweet of a taste as your typical honeydew melon.”

Make also said that if f a honeydew melon is picked too soon, that is, before it turns yellow, it will never ripen. He also said it’s best to avoid buying melons past August, because you probably aren’t going to get a very tasty melon unless you live in California where they are grown.

Mark pointed out that the most important thing when choosing just the right honeydew melon is to pay attention to the color of the rind. A honeydew melon starts out green. If it remains green or even has a greenish hue to it, then it’s not at all ready yet. Watch out for green spots too. This means it’s not ripe yet either. And it’s not going to get that way with time like bananas will. Honeydews don’t keep ripening after their picked.

Honeydew melon is really a melon you have to buy to eat right away. It doesn’t get better if you buy it early and let it sit in the sun. You also want to store it at room temperature.  However, after it has been cut into you will need to store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This will help keep it fresh for up to two weeks.

Now go out and pick your perfect honeydew melon and then enjoy all of its sweet, watery goodness. You’ll never pick a disappointing melon again, thanks to the tips Mark shared with us on how to choose the best honeydew melon.

 

Header image credit: Epicurus

 

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How to Choose and Store Watermelon

How to Choose and Store Watermelon
With the onset of summer we start to think about summer fruits, like watermelon. This is always a favorite treat in the summer because of how refreshing and light it is. But, nothing is worse though than biting into a watermelon that has gone bad or just wasn’t ripe enough to begin with. So you want to make sure you choose the right watermelon from the get go, and then also make sure you store it correctly(check out our article on How to Chose a Ripe Cantaloupe).

Here are some tips from Mark a vender at our local Farmers Market to make sure you get the most out of your watermelon this summer.

Choosing the Right Watermelon

Mark says, “You need to decide if you want a seeded watermelon or a seedless watermelon. There’s no difference in appearance between the two watermelons. The only difference is convenience, though I personally feel the seedless watermelon has a sweeter taste than the seeded melon.”

Mark showed us the easiest method for picking out the perfect watermelon is to give it a little tap on the side. If it sounds solid it’s not ripe, or if it sounds thick it isn’t quite ripe chosing a ripe watermeloneither. But if it sounds hollow then it’s ripe and just right.

After tapping on the melon and hearing that hollow sound don’t pick up that melon just yet, Mark says take notice of the melons appearance. A bright, green-colored skin that’s free of cuts and is firm and symmetrical is what you want to look for. You don’t want one that is narrow on one end or misshapen, because this means it grew in bits and spurts. It should also feel heavier than it looks. Since watermelon is 90% water (which is what makes it so refreshing), you want plenty of water in your watermelon. More water means it’s nice and ripe, giving it a much sweeter taste.

Now that you have picked the perfect watermelon for your summer event, you want to make sure you store it correctly so it lasts longer.

How to Store Watermelon

Mark advises storing your watermelon is in a dark, cool place, like a basement if you have one. But if not, then the next best place is in the refrigerator. This keeps the melon from rotting. Not only does it keep it fresh, but the coolness will also make it a much more refreshing summer treat.

Once you have cut into your watermelon, you want to make sure you tightly wrap the opened end with plastic wrap to store in the refrigerator. If it’s cubed or balled, just place it in a tightly sealed glass or ceramic container. If you sliced it, just place some plastic wrap over the exposed edge. This way it won’t attract the other flavors and scents from the refrigerator and change its taste.

Mark says your melon should last about a week in the refrigerator.

There you have it – the facts on how to choose and store a watermelon this summer. Look for our next article on – Choosing the Right Honeydew Melon -.

 

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Ten Ways to Beat the Heat with Summer Melons

Ten Ways to Beat the Heat with Summer Melons

Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe are the three most common and loved melons, and they are all melons which are mostly consumed throughout the summer months.

From April until August its melon season throughout earth’s northern hemisphere. Consuming these melons while in season should be about more than just the fact that they taste good and are supper refreshing. They contain vitamins and minerals, including large amounts of water, which is hydrating to the body.

Here are ten wonderful ways to enjoy melons in the summer.

Watermelon Basil and Goat cheese

Image Credit: deansheremet.tumblr.com

1. A nice hunk of juicy watermelon will help beat the heat. If you feel watermelon is a little too bland for your taste, then just cube up some melon and toss it with a little feta or goat cheese and some balsamic vinegar and olive oil sprinkled with some fresh basil. You’ll have a simple, refreshing, grown-up treat that’s sure to help you beat the heat this summer.

2. Make a delicious summer soup with pureed honeydew melon and cantaloupe. Chill it and add some fresh mint leaf for an extra refreshing treat.

3. Make a refreshing drink out of the melons. Whether it’s a watermelon martini or just a sparkling water drink garnished with your favorite melon, it’s sure to help you beat the heat this summer.

4. Make a watermelon smoothie or a melon parfait for a treat in the heat.

5. A fruit salad with all of your favorite melons in it will cool you down and be light and refreshing enough to help keep you feeling cool and breezy.

Melon Ball Ice Cubes

Image Credit: laylita.com

6. Using a melon scooper, make melon balls with your favorite melon and freeze them and add to fresh water. It will make your water have a nice sweet taste as the melon balls thaw, also it will cool you off while providing a great refreshment (link here for a great recipe on preparing Melon Ball Ice Cubes).

7. If you don’t want any melon in your ice cubes, just make a frosty granita by pureeing your melon. Mix it with some ginger ale, lemon juice, and lime juice; then freeze it. Give it a stir every half hour or so and you have a wonderful cooling slushy-like dessert.

8. Melons are even great as a salsa for a nice light dinner dish. It’s refreshing and tasty with a nice grilled piece of chicken.

9. Try all the different types of melons. If you can get your hands on something other than cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew, then you should try them for a different treat to beat the summer heat. Melons like Casaba melon, for a sweet and spicy flavor the Crenshaw melon, the Persian melon, and the sweet honey-like taste of the yellow flesh watermelon.

10. Enjoy fresh melons with your friends – preferably by the pool or some other body of water. Nothing says fun and summer like watermelon at the beach with the people you love the most. So get out there, have a good time, and beat the heat with your melon in hand and your toes in the water.

Melons are the perfect summer beat-the-heat food because of the large amounts of water they contain. Water helps thin the blood which means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump the blood through your veins. So even if you’re not a big fan of drinking water, just eating these watery melons will do so much to help you stay ultra-cool and hydrated. Just grab your favorite melon today and beat the heat this summer!

Here’s our recommendation for a great salad using watermelon: Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad.Watermelon Goat Cheese Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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