How to Pick the Perfect Melon
Use this guide to find a ripe melon every single time.
For most shoppers, the act of picking out the perfect melon is more like a shot in the dark than a science. Do you knock on it, or smell it, or both? Does color matter? What about weight?
As Katy Green, a produce field inspector at Whole Foods, recently explained to Self, picking a good melon isn't as straightforward as it is with other fruits, however there are plenty of subtle signs that can be used as guides.
Between July and September, Green told Self that shoppers should look for cantaloupes with green, nickel-sized indentations towards the stem end of the melon, and the opposite end (the blossom end) should give slightly when pressed. Ripe cantaloupes will also have a strong golden color and an aroma you can smell without having to cut it open.
According to Green, the best honeydew will have a white or creamy color, and should and feel tacky, kind of like a basketball. Slight scarring around the stem can indicate sweetness, as can a strong scent in the same spot, so get ready to give it a sniff.
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Green recommends watermelons with a large deep gold, yellow, or straw-colored mark on the outside known as a “ground spot.” This is where the melon rested on the soil during the growing process. These spots start out white and change color as the melon’s sugar content increases. A gold ground spot means it’s ready to be harvested.
A good watermelon should also have a firm and shiny rind and feel heavy relative to its size. Lastly, a hard, green stem is a sign the melon is good, while a brown stem indicates it’s likely past its prime.