Peak Season Pick: Melons

Cantaloupe Melon

Minnesota Grown melons hit stores mid to late July. Select the cream of the crop with our shopping tips and prepare them properly with our best pro kitchen tips and cool, refreshing melon recipes.

Symmetrical melons may look prettier, but when it comes to picking the perfect melon, look for ones that are slightly flatter on one side where the melon rested on the ground. If a melon does not have this indentation, it may mean that it was picked before it was ripe. It should not be soft or squishy, though. Soft spots or bruises should always be avoided.

The muskmelon family includes all melons with a pale, grayish-brown, netted rind, including both cantaloupe and honeydew. Always wash melons before preparing and eating them, especially netted-rind melons. Bacteria from the soil in which melons are grown love to hide in the nooks and crannies of their textured exteriors, and they’re there even if the fruit looks dirt-free. Wash melons before cutting them to prevent transferring surface bacteria into the interior flesh with your knife.

Melon is best eaten raw in salads, snacks and appetizers. You can also purée fresh melon and serve as a cold soup with a bit of lime juice, or add some sugar to the mix and make popsicles.

Look for Minnesota Grown melons at the tail end of July.

Selection and availability of products and ingredients vary by market.