All About Melons

Get an in-depth look at sweet, juicy watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe.

As a permanent staple in premade supermarket fruit salads, melons usually play something of a support role — which is unfortunate because these sweet, delicious items do a whole lot more.

Watermelons contain 92 percent water and, once harvested, don’t continue to ripen like other fruits. They come in a variety of colors and textures and are perfect for salads, smoothies or on their own.

How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

  • Tap the melon; it should make a thud.
  • The duller the skin color and more fragrant the smell, the riper the melon.
  • Make sure the area where the melon rested on the ground is cream coloured, not white.
  • Press the melon rind; it should give slightly when ripe.

Tip : Use overripe watermelon chunks for freshly blended smoothies.

The most common varieties are: seedless, picnic, icebox and yellow-flesh. Flesh colors range between scarlet red, coral red, orange, salmon, yellow and white.

Seedless: Look for their oblong shape and sweet, pink flesh. Despite the name, these contain small, edible seeds.

Picnic: The most common watermelon, picnics are round or oblong in shape, very sweet and come in three varieties: jubilee (seeds), all sweet (seeds) and crimson sweet (seeds and seedless).

Icebox: Icebox watermelons get their name from their small size — they can fit in an icebox. Round in shape and perfect for a single-sized portion, they come in two striped, sweet varieties: sugar baby and tiger baby.

Yellow-flesh: The flavours, shapes and seeds of yellow-flesh watermelons depend on the variety. Overall, they’re sweeter and more oblong than other watermelons. Yellow doll, yellow baby, tendergold, desert king are seedless. Chiffon and honeyheart varieties, however, are not.

Use watermelon to spruce up salads and drinks, or in a salsa that pairs perfectly with fish.

  • Pair it with creamy feta cheese and fresh mint in a summer salad recipe.
  • Blend with ice and tangy lime juice to create a frozen watermelon granita.
  • Toss it with tart peppers and fragrant cilantro to make our fresh watermelon salsa.
  • Combine it with peppery arugula, seared tuna and an avocado vinaigrette for a light dinner.

Find this sweet, fragrant melon during the summer. It comes in six major varieties and is an extraordinary addition to smoothies, salads, sorbets and soups.

How to Pick a Ripe Honeydew

  • The rind should be pale yellow and firm to the touch.
  • Flesh should be lime green and smell like fragrant flowers.
  • Gently shake the fruit; the seeds should move inside.


  • Honey Bun Hybrid: Grown in small gardens, deep orange flesh and very sweet.
  • Athena: Large, sweet flavour with silky texture.
  • Hales Best Jumbo: Large, aromatic and sweet.
  • Sweet 'N Early Hybrid: Juicy, very sweet and has bright salmon-coloured flesh.
  • Hearts of Gold: Very round with sweet, thick flesh.
  • Ambrosia: Peach coloured and very sweet.


  • Wrap it with thin slices of Prosciutto for a delicious appetizer.
  • Blend it with ice, yogurt and other fresh fruit to create delicious, refreshing smoothies.
  • Combine it with onion, pineapple and jalapenos for a unique salsa.
  • Mix it with ginger syrup and lime for a unique chilled soup.

Serve cantaloupe at room temperature to best enjoy its delectable, sweet flavour. Carve it into a fun serving bowl or prepare it in jams, salsas or salads.

How to Pick a Ripe Cantaloupe

  • The skin should be yellow-brown or golden under the veins.
  • The melon should be round and heavy for its size.
  • Press your thumb on the green stem area; it should give to the touch.
  • Look for a sweet and musky smell and deep orange flesh.
  • Gently shake the fruit; the seeds should move inside.

Tip : Wash melons in soapy water to remove any potential bacteria. Anything the knife touches on the outside of the melon will transfer to the inside flesh.


  • Create a delicious, refreshing sorbet.
  • Try canning cantaloupe preserves or make it into a freezer jam.
  • Combine it with watermelon, grapes, honeydew and strawberries in a wholesome fruit salad.
  • Wrap it in thin slices of Prosciutto for a gourmet appetizer.

Aside from being put into other dishes or drinks, melons are perfect summertime snacks. Their sweet and juicy flesh is a perfect way to beat the heat!


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