The Cookalong Podcast

Your Cooking Companion

Posted in Food
April 22, 2019

Choosing the Best Melon in Two Easy Steps! (Watermelon/Cantaloupe/Honeydew)

Don’t think you can pick a good melon? Remember these 2 easy “tells” about whether the melon type of your choice is ripe. (Or bookmark this page and use it in the store, ‘cause why not?)


  1. The spot where it sat on the ground should be as yellow as you can get it (not white or pale green), and darker-yellow-toward-tan is even better.
  2. Look for dry, brown webbing, which means lots of good pollination happened. If there are tiny black sticky dots, that’s your melon! It means the bees poked it to get at the sweetness.


  1. Push on the end opposite the stem. It should be slightly soft.
  2. Smell the stem end. If the fruit isn’t too cold, it should smell like good–like cantaloupe.


  1. It should have a creamy color (not green) and a waxy feel.
  2. It should be slightly soft on the end opposite the stem.
  3. This isn’t really a 3rd item—I just want you to be aware that the smell test doesn’t work on honeydews. It should have no aroma.

That’s it! Stop thumping. Use your eyes, nose, and fingers instead of your ears, and you’ll get good melons from now on.

And if none of the melons in the pile or bin meet these criteria, you may want to leave them all behind and try again another day.

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