July is the beginning of melon season, which calls for Melon Mania! Melons are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C for eye health and immune function, and you can use them in a variety of recipes. Here are some tips for what to look for when picking out your perfect melon.
Check for damage. A good melon should be free of soft spots, bruising, cracking, or any signs of mold.
Observe the color of the melon. For watermelon and honeydew, the rind should appear dull and not shiny, as shiny can indicate that the melon is not yet ripe.
A honeydew should be closer to a pale-yellow color, rather than a bright green color.
A watermelon should have a yellow spot, as this indicates where it was resting on the ground. A creamy-yellow spot means that it ripened on the vine and is ready to eat!
For muskmelons like cantaloupe, the rind under the netting-like structure should appear golden-orange, rather than a green or white color.
Notice the weight. A good melon will feel heavy for its size.
Give it a tap! Tap the melon with the palm of your hand. A delicious melon will sound hollow.
Take a sniff. Especially for melons like cantaloupe and honeydew, the round section where the vine was originally attached should smell sweet and fragrant.
Once you’ve found that perfect melon, try one of these delectable recipes. If you’re feeling bold and want to try a new type of melon, such as a crenshaw, galia, or casaba, use in place of cantaloupe or honeydew in the recipes below.
Arugula Salad with Melon and Prosciutto
Ginger-Glazed Grilled Honeydew
Cantaloupe Gazpacho with Crispy Prosciutto
Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad