Thumping melons will leave you in the dark. Instead, come into the light and look for the following characteristics when selecting melons.
A watermelon should have smooth skin with an even pale to dark green rind that has a creamy yellow area on the underside. The shape should be symmetrical. Avoid fruit with soft ends. If you buy a cut piece, the flesh should look firm, brightly colored, and juicy. Avoid pieces with white streaks, holes, cracks, or a mealy appearance.
Cantaloupe is ripe when the blossom end gives to slight pressure. The melon should have a sweetly aromatic scent. If there is a strong smell, the melon is overripe. If you're buying cut melon, look for a deep apricot color inside -- the deeper the color, the sweeter the taste.
Honeydew melon, when ripe, should have a creamy white to pale yellow rind. If the rind has a green cast, it is unripe. The meat inside may be green, gold, orange, or pink, depending on the variety.
Continued on page 2: Recipes