Best Ways to Cut a Melon

The quick answer is in half, as all melons come from the gourd (Cucurbitaceae) family, and gourds make excellent bowls.

Melons are either categorized as muskmelons or watermelons. Melons are a botanical fruit, and are actually berries, though some varieties are considered to be culinary vegetables.

Muskmelons are further categorized by their skin, either netted or smooth.

All muskmelons have a hollow middle section, that is, full of seeds and stringy fibrous material. Think of scooping out a pumpkin before carving.

The 2 most popular muskmelons for eating are probably cantaloupe and honeydew, though there are also Christmas melons, Casabas, Crenshaws, Spanish melons, Winter melons and more. The best way to cut a Muskmelon is through the middle of the melon. This can be done vertically (through the stem) or horizontally (trough the belly). With a tablespoon, scrape out the rough fibrous material and all the seeds until firm flesh is reached.

Once the melon has been cut and de-seeded, remaining cuts should made with presentation in mind. Mini ice cream scoopers are used to make ‘melon balls’, great when chilled to freezing and use in holiday drinks or spring fizzes. 1” cubes are common for salads, as are wedges (thick or thin) as a side dish for breakfast or lunch. Wedges are also make a great display when fanned out in some design. Of course, for a quick and simple breakfast plan, use the melon in an obvious way. As a bowl. Use some of your favorite plain yogurt, add a few berries or even some granola, and you have an instant healthy meal. Wrap it in cling plastic, and you have a meal on the go. Don’t forget the spoon.

Muskmelons are typically used in soups, salads, desserts and as garnishes, and should not be cut until they are ready to be used. Both the color of the skin, and that of the meat of a melon will vary in color taste, and availability, and melons should be stored at room temperature, chilling before serving. Muskmelons like honey dew, are also high in vitamin “C” 

Winter melons are often used in soups and stews, or other wise cooked, and can taste similar to zucchini or cucumbers.

Persian melons, Spanish melons and Crenshaws are sweet melons that will favor the more popular cantaloupe or honey dew in taste and appearance.

Other melons include the Sugar Melon, Horned melon, Tiger Melon, Korean Melon, Canary Melon, Sharlyn melon, and Galia. It should also be noted that the North American Cantaloupe is distinctly different from the native European cantaloupe.

The other type of melon has been a summertime treat for many boys and girls the world around. Watermelon. These can be light green, dark green, or even have stripes. They can be as large as a good sized dog or as small as a cantaloupe. As opposed to cantaloupe, Watermelon are less fibrous and more watery and generally have less flavor then their cousin. Watermelons are native to Africa and when ripe, should have a dull, not shiny appearance, as well as sound hollow when rapped.

Watermelon is often cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced for serving. Watermelon eaters must ‘dispose’ of the seeds, and have found many interesting ways to do just that.

High in Vitamins “A” and “C”, watermelon can be further cut into cubes and make the foundation of a fruit salad, or added to a traditional salad. Having a watery consistency, watermelons are excellent as ice cubes, fruit pops or tossed in the blender for a smoothie or adult cocktail.

Of course, it you don’t want to go through all that trouble, just cut off the end, drop it in a bowl, grab a spoon and sit out by the pool, enjoying the true taste of summer.

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