Have you ever come home from the grocery store, set a great looking melon on the counter, and then wondered what to do now? Well, I have.
Cutting a melon can seem like an overwhelming task. We tried out some different ways to cut a melon and put our favorites in a How to Prepare Melon video. These methods will work for most varieties of melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon). Take a look and let us know what you think.
Most of all, enjoy the taste of fresh melon while we have it!
I love watermelon. I remember my grandfather cutting giant melons on his front porch and giving all the grandkids a slice. Back then all the watermelons had seeds that we spit out on the grass. Melons were also a lot bigger. They often weighed over 20 pounds and sold for around $.06 a pound!
It’s still hard to pick a good watermelon. Here are some suggestions I found:
Choose watermelons that are symmetrical with no soft spots. Odd bumps and curves can mean it was grown with irregular runs of water or sun.
Look for a creamy patch. It’s called the ‘field spot’ — the place where the watermelon rested on the ground. The deeper in color, the longer the fully grown melon was on the vine getting sweet. A yellow field spot is better than white, but white is better than no patch at all.
Pick it up. Your watermelon should feel heavy for its size. Compare its weight with one of similar size.
When you get your melon home make sure you wash it. According to the FDA, you should wash all fruits and vegetables under clean, running water before eating them. This is true for all fruits and veggies–rinds or not! You should also use clean knives and cutting surfaces, and make sure you have washed your hands prior to preparing the watermelon for eating.
Buy a dud? Return it!
If you get an unripe or over-ripe melon home, take it back and get another one or your money back. I called 4 local grocery stores today (Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, Fareway and Dahls) and they all said they would refund or replace the melon. It is best if you have your receipt with you.
Last week I took the time to weigh the melons and figure the unit price by dividing the price by the pounds ($/#). It turns out all three pictured were around $.28/pound. I was surprised because I thought the seedless would cost more.
Seedless watermelon – 11 pounds for $2.99 = $.27/pound
Seeded watermelon – 18 pounds for $4.99 = $.28/pound
Cantaloupe – 7 pounds for $2.00 = $.29/pound
Of course, none of this information tells us anything about the flavor or ripeness. Last week I got a melon so ripe I called the store and complained. The manager told me next time I shop to bring the receipt and get a refund.
Three tips for selecting ripe melons include:
they should feel heavy for their size,
have a sweet smell, and
have a yellow underside where they touched the ground.