Let’s talk. Melons. I thought about making a number of recipes to show off a particularly fragrant Galia melon (a cantaloupe-honeydew hybrid) I bought last night at the market. At the top of the list was melon gelato followed by a savory melon salad dressed with a sweet wine and freshly cracked pepper.
Who can argue with either one?
When I took the melon out this morning, the fruit was heavy and fragrant and reminded me of waking up in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest after a torrential summer rain storm.
After a restless night spent next to the yellow-green fields that spun out into the distant mountain range, I wanted to tear this melon’s skin off with my teeth.
The fruit had that kind of pull.
Instead, I found a knife and cutting board and cut into it. Wedges of unadorned melon and coffee for breakfast. You’re going to want to do the same unless, of course, you have stronger teeth than I do…
3 Tips for choosing a ripe muskmelon or cantaloupe:
1. Smell it. The melon should be so aromatic that you can almost taste it.
2. Look at its skin. Ripe melons will have a yellow-gold or orange skin under the netted rind. They will often have a flattened side that is paler that the rest of the fruit.
3. Touch it. Honeydews and other late season melons should give to a gentle pressure on the stem end, which should be moist but without any hint of mold.
(Store ripe melons at room temperature for several days. Refrigerate them a few hours before using, if desired. Wrap leftovers in plastic and refrigerate up to three days.)