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How to Pick a Ripe Melon of Any Kind

Any time is the perfect time for melons, but summertime is especially good because there’s a better chance of picking a ripe melon that hasn’t traveled too far to get to your picnic.</br></br>Melon season in the U.S. runs from about June to September, but these tips will still help in the off season for your favorite melons from afar.</br></br><strong>Watermelon</strong></br></br>Good watermelon is dense watermelon, which means the best one will be heavier than its neighbors of the same size. Also, keep an eye out for these signs of deliciousness:</br></br>- Knock it and check for firmness. A hollow thud is the sound of a ripe melon.</br>- Look at the flat spot where it rested as it grew; dark yellow means it sat to ripeness, while a lighter color indicates it was plucked too soon.</br>- Never pick the ugly duckling; good watermelons have a uniform shape.</br></br><strong>Cantaloupe</strong></br></br>The best cantaloupe (if you’re eating it that day) is one that smells like you already cut it open. Cantaloupes with no smell are unripe, and cantaloupes that smell sickly sweet are likely overripe. As for looks:</br></br>- Avoid brown spots and discoloration.</br>- Look for a tan melon with green veins.</br>- Shake it and see if you can hear any seeds; if so, it’s good to go.</br></br><strong>Honeydew</strong></br></br>Good honeydews are prettier than bad ones; rounder, more colorful and without blemishes. Another good sign:</br></br>- It’s often the case that the best honeydew may still have a few days to fully ripen, so always buy this melon a few days before you want to eat it.</br></br><strong>Casaba</strong></br></br>The key to ripe casaba (the most common variety, anyway) is a deep yellow color. Start there and check for these other signs:</br></br>- The skin should feel ridged and waxy to the touch.</br>- Casabas aren’t as sweet as other melons, so a sweet smell won’t be a giveaway.</br></br>BONUS</br></br>So, did you pinpoint any common themes? For the most part, any melon of any that feels heavy for its size and has a sweet smell are going to be better than the rest. Good luck in your search for the perfect melon!
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