Melons—cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon—are great summertime treats and especially appreciated on the hottest of days. Eating melons is a great way to hydrate the body. They are nutritious, naturally low in calories, and sweet enough to enjoy freshly sliced. But how do you know if it’s ripe? And should you store it on the counter or in the fridge? Picking ripe melons and knowing how to store them doesn’t have to be mystery. Just follow these tips:
Selecting: Should be firm, but not too hard and unbruised. Don’t select a hard green cantaloupe as it was picked too soon. Give it the whiff test. A ripe cantaloupe will have a nice fragrance.
Storing: Ripe cantaloupes should be stored in the refrigerator. If a cantaloupe has no fragrance and is still quite firm, leave on the kitchen counter for a day or two to ripen. Once the cantaloupe is ripe, slice open down the center. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard. Slice each half into sections, cutting away the rind. Store cubes or slices of cantaloupe in sealed containers in the refrigerator to keep fresh.
Selecting: A ripe honeydew melon will have a pleasant fragrance at the blossom end. A ripe honeydew will feel heavy for its size and be the color of butter.
Storing: Honeydew melons should be refrigerated. Once the melon has been sliced or cut into chunks, it should be kept in a sealable container in the refrigerator to keep it from drying out.
Selecting: It is hard to tell if a watermelon is ripe at first glance, but here are a couple of things to look for. A shriveled stem is a sign of ripeness. Look at the underside of the watermelon, the portion that lay on the ground in the field. This part of the watermelon should be light yellow in color. If it is white, the watermelon was probably picked too early.
Storing: Whole watermelons can be kept in the kitchen at room temperature until cut. When cutting a portion of a watermelon at a time, wrap the open end with storage wrap and stand upright in the refrigerator. Sliced watermelon can be served fresh sliced or chilled first. Store sliced or balled watermelon in a sealable container in the refrigerator.
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