Melons 101: Tips and Recipes

Juicy, Fresh, Sweet, and a delicious summer treat. Melons are in the peak of their season here in the Pacific Northwest and I couldn’t be happier. Farmers markets are filled with many delicious varieties and shapes and I am going crazy trying them all. My childhood was always filled with watermelon-it was a summer staple at our house along with lazy pool days. Sometimes my parents wouldn’t even slice it but just give us a half or quarter of the melon and a spoon and leave my brother and I to our pool shenanigans.

Varieties

There are many different varieties of melons. Bon Appetit Magazine recently published an article all on the strange varieties of melons. Another great melon guide published by Food 52  says that melons are in the same family as zucchini-weird! The Eugene farmers market is overflowing with different varieties of melons besides the typical watermelon and cantaloupe and all of my blueberry money has been going to these pretty pastel melons.

  • Watermelon– Sometimes classics don’t need to change-nuff said.
  • Honey Orange Melon– It tried this variety of honeydew a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. It has a much more intense flavor of honeydew while looking like a cantaloupe. Delicious
  • Charentais Melon– I picked up this expensive unusual melon at a local organic store recently. I was looking aimlessly at the different types and a produce boy, who was very cute might I add,  recommended this particular one telling me it tasted like butterscotch. When ripe this charentais melon  smells amazing and is so fragrant-I was sold. Plus who doesn’t like trying new things? Worth a try but in my opinion not my favorite variety.
  • Piel De Sapo Melon– Translating to skin of a toad, this honeydew-esque  melon is by far my favorite kind. Originating from Spain, this one has made its way over to North America. It has earthy undertones while still being extremely sweet. The farmer at the farmers market told me he himself picks all of his melons because once a melon is picked it stops ripening.

How to Cut

Cutting a melon can be tricky. Here, Martha Stewart shows us the best way to perfectly cut a melon every time. After you cut it up make sure to store in the fridge as melons taste even better cold.

Ripe or Not Ripe

Ripeness can be tricky because melons always stay hard and don’t really get squishy. I went to twitter and asked the experts. When all else fails an aromatic smell is always good. Also there is a tip for knocking on the melon and listening to see if it is hollow. I haven’t perfected this tactic yet.

Tools of the Trade

Let’s be real. This may seem silly but melon balls are so much cuter than melon cubes. If you can manage to scoop them out without eating them all that’s a plus as well! This double-sided melon baler is a must for any melon-aficionado

Recipes

If you have self-discipline and can restrain yourself from eating an entire melon in one serving, one, I applaud you. Two, here are some delicious ways to incorporate melon this summer:

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