Produce: Melons

Melons are a refreshing, iconic summer treat - but there's more to melons than just watermelon and cantelope. Let's peel back the rind and discover all the different types of melon!

-Nothing beats a luscious slice of melon on a hot summer day. These delicious, sweet, low-calorie fruit are perfect in a salad, in a smoothie, or as a snack. From watermelons to honeydews, we're going to teach you everything you need to know to be an expert melon shopper. Peak season for most melons is late spring to early fall, though it's not uncommon to find cantaloupe and honeydew year round. The best melon should feel heavy for their size, yield to slight pressure, and give off a sweet, pleasant aroma. Look for smooth, unblemished skin and a firm feel. Think cantaloupes are the only way to go? Check out these melon varieties at your local grocer or farmer's market. Watermelon is an iconic, refreshing summer snack with a fresh, light taste and marbled, smooth green and yellow skin. Watermelons are available with seeds or in seedless variety. The most common type of melon is pink but you can also find melons with orange and yellow flesh. They make an easy, quick, and low-calorie snack popular with kids. Cantaloupes are best recognized for their netted skin, sweet fragrance, and flavorful orange flesh. When ripe, the cantaloupe will separate from the vine so look for a smooth indentation on the stem end and avoid purchasing cantaloupes with a stem still attached. The honeydew melon has a sugary taste and pale green flesh. Look for honeydews that have a waxy pale yellow skin and don't slosh when gently shaken. The casava melon is closely related to both the cantaloupe and honeydew, but its flesh is not quite as sweet. It has a thick rind, bright yellow wrinkled skin, and generally has a longer shelf life than other melons. The crenshaw melon is a hybrid variety with a very sweet, juicy orange flesh, making it a popular summer treat. When ripe, the crenshaw has a globe shape with a pointed stem end and ribbed skin. The Juan canary or simply canary melon has a deep yellow skin and a pale green flesh. It's not as sweet as other melons but tastes great when mixed with other fruits in a salad. Be sure to look for the signature bright yellow skin with few blemishes. To peel and seed melons, start with a sharp knife and cut straight down the middle. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, place the melon flat side down and remove the peel from top to bottom using the green part of the melon as your guide. Making the perfect melon ball is all about technique. Push your melon baller firmly into the melon then lift straight up then twist the handle clockwise with your wrist. Pull straight out and, voila, perfect melon balls. Melons can be eaten raw, pureed into cold soups, cut up into salads, and are great in smoothies and fruit salsas so whether you like to eat yours plain or with a little sprinkling of sugar or salt, melons are the perfect healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.