The Melon Baller Is Every Southerner's Favorite Summer Kitchen Tool
Enter a Southern home during the summer, and more often than not, you'll find a melon on the counter. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew—we love to eat them, but we always dread slicing them. Melons are never easy to crack into, but Southerners have found ways around the heavy and unwieldy fruits. That's why the melon baller is a tool with a long history in Southern kitchens.
Our grandmothers have been using melon ballers for as long as we can remember, and the slim tools really had a moment in the 1970s and 1980s. We still love them, and we're still using them. We don't have scientific evidence that melon balls are more delicious than melons cut into wedges or cubes, but based on experience, they're much more fun to eat. Bite-size pieces of all our favorite melons are great for afternoon snacks, and they look cute on the table at picnics too. All you need to scoop a bowl of melon balls is a sharp melon baller. We like a double-sided one, like this OXO option from Amazon (BUY IT: $8.93, amazon.com), because it gives you two size options for scooping. It also has a soft handle to ensure the tool doesn't slip out of your hand when you're elbow-deep in a honeydew.
A double-sided melon baller has many uses. We always break it out when we have a cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon to break down, but they can also be used to scoop dough or batter onto cookie sheets, remove seeds from peppers and squashes, and even dole out ice cream. It can also double as an apple corer. When summer rolls around, you'd better believe we're always on the lookout for a ripe melon, and once acquired, we rummage around in our kitchen drawers to find the treasured tool—you know the one—that we can always count on to help us enjoy summer's bounty the best way we know how. Grab your melon baller and make our favorite fruit salad to celebrate the season.
Do you have a melon baller in your kitchen? Do you use it all summer long, or do you prefer to cut melons into wedges?