honeydew melon

This sweet, succulent member of the muskmelon family was prized by ancient Egyptians thousands of years ago, and ages before that in Persia, where the muskmelon is thought to have originated. Luckily for American honeydew enthusiasts, the melons are now grown in California and parts of the Southwest. The slightly oval honeydew is distinguished by a smooth, creamy-yellow rind and pastel green flesh that’s extraordinarily juicy and sweet. It ranges in weight from 4 to 8 pounds. Honeydews are available year-round, though the peak months are generally July through September. Perfectly ripe honeydews will have an almost indistinguishable wrinkling on the skin’s surface, often detectable only by touch. Choose one that’s very heavy for its size. Underripe melons can be ripened at room temperature. Wrap ripe melons in a plastic bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Honeydew melons can be used in salads, desserts, as a garnish and in fruit soups. They are a good source of vitamin C. See also melon.

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