Melon-choly

Cantaloupe makes my nose itch. That’s why I don’t eat it. It’s an idiosyncracy I inherited from DotMom, and it’s stuck.

But I do like watermelon, although I haven’t had much of it yet this year.

The folks at the Produce for Better Health Foundation have offered up this handy guide for choosing the best melons. I will heed their advice when I go in search of that watermelon.

Watermelon: 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 in one hand and thump it lightly with the other hand. You should feel the vibrations in the bottom hand. Watermelons do not continue to ripen after harvest. Always refrigerate once it is cut.

Cantaloupe: Choose fragrant, symmetrical cantaloupes that feel heavy for their size with no visible bruises and a yellow or cream undertone. The stem end should give to gentle pressure and have a delicious, cantaloupe smell. Also look for a tight, well-defined “netting” pattern on the melon’s surface. Cantaloupe softens after harvest, but does not increase in sweetness.  Ripen at room temperature.  Always refrigerate once it is cut.

Honeydew: Choose well shaped honeydew melons that are nearly spherical. Honeydew 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. The stem end of ripe honeydews will give slightly to gentle pressure.  Like other melons, honeydew softens after harvest, but does not get sweeter.

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