How to Select Melons

Whether you shake, poke or sniff them in search of perfection, ripe melons are one of the summer season’s most sensational delights.

 True, you can get them virtually year round but they’re never sweeter and juicer than in summer.  Melons of all kinds, especially the orange-flesh variety, offer unique flavor, low-calorie nutrition and lots of vitamin A.  Best of all, they take well to everything, from an appealing appetizer, such as Melons and Ham, to a mixed-fruit salad.

Melon varieties

 Honeyloupe – cream-colored rind with peach blush (avoid if waxy); sweet orange flesh.
Watermelon – mottled green skin; pink -red or yellow flesh.
Casaba – green or yellow-green hard rind; crisp, pale-green flesh.
Cantaloupe – netted skin; deep orange flesh with rich flavor.
Crenshaw – blotchy gold or yellow-green rind; tender golden flesh.
Honeydew – pale-white to yellow, smooth, hard rind; green (sometimes orange) flesh.

Selecting and storing

 Choose a melon heavy for its size with a fragrant stem end that gives under light pressure from your thumb.  (Hard melons will soften if left in a sunny spot, but they won’t get sweeter.) Once cut, melons will keep for a day or two if wrapped well in plastic and refrigerated.