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See also: Melon Article; Melon Facts & Trivia; Melon Quotes
Also see individual melons.

MELONS

Melons are one of the very few fruits that are never cooked.

USDA scientists have developed mini melons with an edible rind.

Melons have no starch reserves to convert to sugar before they ripen, so they will not get any sweeter after they are picked (their texture will soften though). The sugar content actually decreases rapidly after they are picked, so they should be left on the vine as long as possible to sweeten.

Melons are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. They have high water content are relatively low in calories, and also fat and cholesterol free.

SELECTION - In general, melons should be shaped according to their variety. For example, cantaloupes should be round, etc. In addition, melons should not have cracks, soft spots, or dark bruises. You should look for a clean and smooth break at the stem and for most mature melons have a fruity fragrance (if not chilled).

STORAGE - Keep uncut melons at room temperature for two to four days or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Refrigerate cut up melon in a covered container up to 3 days. Remember that cut melons are aromatic and their smell will penetrate other foods.

PREPARATION - Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.

  • Melons make a great addition to fruit salads.
     
  • Stir in melon in your cold fruit soups.
     
  • Sliced melons make an attractive edible garnish.
     
  • Make melon boats — scoop out melon balls then refill shell.
     
  • For appetizers, wrap melon wedges or cubes with thinly sliced prosciutto ham.
     
  • Season melon with lemon or lime juice or cayenne pepper.
     
  • For dessert, serve melon with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle melon cubes with non-alcoholic syrups like hazelnut or orange.
     
  • Dice up melons make great fruit salsas.
     
  • Mix melons with chicken or seafood salad.
     
  • Make quick melon kebobs! Thread different melon varieties on a skewer for a colorful 5 A Day treat.
    CDC.gov - 5 a Day


 

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