Supermarket fruit stands always have exciting displays of produce, enticing customers with their vivid, and vibrant, colors. But all too often the colors are enhanced by discreet lighting, and the fruits themselves fail to live up to expectations once purchased and brought home?
Melons seem to be an exception. More often than not they do deliver their promise of delicious, and juicy, sweetness.
Follow a few basic, and enjoyable, guidelines when selecting melons and the quest for perfection becomes reality. When purchasing, just follow your nose. Melons that are highly fragrant are more or less ready to eat straight away. Those with a lesser, but still tantalizing, aroma will keep for a few days longer. As there are always lots of melons on show at the same time, all releasing their own scents in to the surrounding atmosphere, don’t be afraid to pick individual ones up, hold under the nose and take a good sniff.
If it smells right, perfumed that is, it is now time to touch. Press the little dimple at the end; if it is resistant it will keep for a few days at room temperature. When it gives a little it is ready to eat, and is well worth the wait.
Storage in the fridge reduces flavor over time, although chilling for an hour or so before eating does no harm, and is there anything more enticingly thirst quenching than a slice of cold melon on a hot summer’s day?
Any blemishes or cuts in the rind are easily distinguished by eye. Skins can be naturally rough textured but reject any with odd colored patches.
If only all fruits appealed to the senses as much as these natural containers of goodness eating the recommended five a day would be as easy as a piece of cake; and certainly more refreshing.
Cantaloupes or casabas, honey dew or honey ball and many more varieties are packed with nutritious goodies. Crammed with vitamins and low in fats they make marvelous additions to most diets; and with no cholesterol they can safely satisfy all but the most severe snack attacks.
Take vitamin C alone. Just the one serving of cantaloupe provides a full recommended daily allowance. When you consider the assortment of ailments that this vitamin is reputed to prevent, ranging from the common cold through scurvy to vaginitis, melons should be on every kitchen counter.
Cantaloupes are particularly high in potassium and the red coloration in water melons is a good source of lycopene. In fact, a single serving is said to have 40 % more than its equivalent in raw tomatoes.
Good for breakfast, as a light, after dinner dessert, added to salads or anytime the munchies demand satisfaction, melons also provide sensory pleasure at the point of purchase; when selecting smell, look and touch; unfortunately you will have to wait until you get home before finally tasting.