There is nothing tastier than a juicy ripe honeydew melon, and there is nothing worse than taking a bite to find it is sour and unripe. It all starts when the farmer decides to pick the honeydew off the vine. If it is picked while it is immature, it will not mature and be tasty. It is important to know whether your honeydew is mature and ripe before you cut it open.
Smell the Honeydew
When a honeydew melon is ripe, it will have a very sweet fragrance. In fact, it will grow more fragrant as it ripens. If you smell your honeydew, and it doesn’t smell sweet, wait a little longer before you cut it open. If it goes too many days, you might go ahead and cut into it. You could be dealing with an immature honeydew that was picked too early and will never ripen.
Examine Your Honeydew
When a mature honeydew melon is ripe, there should be no greenness left on the outside. Before it ripens, it will have green veins running across the rind, but they will lose their greenness when it ripens. The rind is the outer skin of your honeydew, so examine it carefully. The entire melon should be a golden or whitish yellow color without any green.
You should also feel the honeydew. You can press the end opposite the stem, which is called the blossom end. It should be easy to push, and then it should bounce back. You shouldn’t be able to mush it in, and it should bounce back evenly.
Shake Your Honeydew
Honeydew melons have a lot of seeds inside of them. As the honeydew ripens, the seeds begin to loosen from the flesh. If you shake your honeydew and you hear any rattling on the inside, its seeds are loose, and there is a good chance it is ripe enough to eat. You can also tap your fingers on the outside of the melon. You should hear a dull thud if it is ripe.
When you use these tips to make sure your honeydew is ripe, you will have a good chance of cutting into a juicy, sweet melon. It can be very frustrating to cut open a honeydew melon early because it just won’t taste the same. Make sure that you run through each of these tests so that you can have confidence before you cut into your honeydew.