How Do I Know Which Melon is Ripe to Eat?

MelonsmdMelons can be somewhat intimidating if you’ve never cut open one yourself before. How do you know it’s ripe? Which way do you cut it? So many questions that sometimes go unanswered. We spoke with Lyall Farms at the Everett Farmers Market on Sunday, to get a quick melon lesson, so you know what to do next time you have a melon encounter. Lyall Farms has 3 different types of melons for sale: The Crenshaw Melon, Watermelon and Christmas Melon.

Crenshaw melon is a hybrid that’s shaped like a tear-drop. It’s sweet and has peach-colored flesh. It’s hollow and has a pocket of seeds (like cantaloupe) you can scoop out once you cut through it. The way you can tell it’s ripe is by smelling it. It smells fruity and also turns soft on the outside.

Watermelon is the most recognizable melon. It is bright green with dark green stripes along the length. It’s very nutrient-dense with high amounts of Vitamin C and A. It’s the perfect summer fruit and can be eaten as is or juiced once the seeds are removed. Some people also sun-dry the seeds, crack open the shell and eat the inside. The best way to tell the watermelon is ripe is by tapping on it with your knuckles and listening to how it sounds. The higher-pitch means it’s not at its peak ripeness. The low-pitch sound means it’s perfect and ready to cut into.

Christmas melons are also called Santa Claus melons. They look similar to watermelons but the outer skin is thicker and more ribbed like honeydew. They are not as sweet as honeydew but are just as good. They are great in salads, cocktails, sauces and cold soups. Lyall Farms only picks these melons until they are ready so you can be sure you’re going to eat well as soon as you cut into it.

Cantaloupe is the orange-fleshed melon that is very similar to honeydew. However, cantaloupe has more Vitamin C than honeydew. The best way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is by smelling it. If it smells sweet, it’s ready. Look out for melons that smell too sweet because they might be overripe. We saw cantaloupe for sale at Magana Farms stand at the Sunday Everett Farmer’s Market.

At the Friday Farmers Market Everett Mall you will find Amador Farms selling melons of several varieties.

Edlyn G D’Souza is a writer and the more she says that, the truer it becomes. She has her roots in Goa and Mumbai in India, where she worked as a journalist for 5 years. She now lives in Washington where she writes in her blog, draws cat stuff, never tires of seeing Mt Rainier and dreams about changing the world through her stories.