Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Unique and Heirloom Melons
Melons are some of the trickiest fruits to select; each gives off a different sign and there is no true “in general” tip for melons as a whole. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin was right in saying, “Men & melons are hard to know.” Check out our article on melons for unique tips on some of the melons we carry when they’re in season. You can also keep these tips in mind:
- Press very gently on the end opposite the stem end, there should be a slight give.
- For melons with ribs or netted flesh like the Crenshaw, Tuscans or cantaloupe, look for pronounced ridges and netting and distinct color variation.
- Ripe netted melons should have a slight give.
- For the smooth melons, such as orange flesh honeydew, look for good color with a slightly waxy texture. If they have a slight give, they may be overripe.
- Give all melons a sniff to check for a sweet fragrance.
- Ripe melons should be heavy for their size.
- Once you get the melon home store it at room temperature until fully ripe then refrigerate it.
- Once cut, a melon needs to be refrigerated. Leave the seeds in any unused portions to maintain moisture. For optimal flavor let chilled melons come to room temperature before eating.
- Look for the “full slip” on the stem end (what some may call the bellybutton), meaning there is a clean, smooth indentation where the fruit came off the vine. This shows that the fruit was fully ripe, ready to be picked and came off easily when pulled from the vine.
Robbie Sigona is produce buyer for both the Redwood City and Palo Alto Sigona’s Farmers Market locations. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.