ALL THINGS COOKING
"Hand selecting the best produce to bring back to Nino's each morning."
One of the most commonly asked questions when I’m traveling our stores is one which I’m sure you have asked yourself a number of times: “How do I pick out a good or ripe melon?”
Whether it is cantaloupe, watermelon or honeydew, every person has a method or trick that they think will ensure the perfect melon.
That being said, I would like to share my methods with all of you. Depending on which melon you are selecting, the process will vary slightly. The first step in selecting a melon is the most important one and is the same for any melon you are selecting that day.
STEP 1: BUY ALL YOUR MELONS AT NINO’S!!
My team and I have done much of the hard work for you. We cut, feel, and inspect each truck load of melons that is unloaded daily at the Detroit Produce Terminal. Just this week we cut over 7 different loads of cantaloupes to determine which was sweetest and firmest for our shelves. So, if you are taking a melon home from Nino’s you have little to worry about.
STEP 2: KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
If cantaloupes are your melon of choice, color is the most important thing to look for. The greener the melon, the less ripe it is. Cantaloupes will turn to an orange type shade as it ripens. So based on when you want to eat your melon, choose accordingly. Cantaloupes will usually take two days to totally change color if left at room temperature. Another tip to help you when selecting cantaloupes is to feel for the end of the cantaloupe (flat end not indented end) to see if there is some give on the end. If so, the ripening process has begun. Sometimes I will see customers smelling cantaloupes and will wonder to myself “what smell are they searching for?” If you simply enjoy the smell of cantaloupes then have at it, but my advice would be that smell and sweetness DO NOT have any direct link.
If honeydews are the melon of choice the same rules apply except that when honeydews ripen their color goes from green to a bright yellow.
Watermelons can also be tricky. The method that I find to be the most accurate is known as the “knock-knock” method. You simply knock on your melon listening for the hollowest sound. The louder the hollowness, the better the melon. If you hear a thump or a dud like sound, chances are you have an over ripe or soft melon that is most likely old and not fresh tasting.
Also, if you haven’t noticed here at Nino’s we carry the largest watermelons available for retail. Unlike some of our neighborhood competition that carries only 12-14 lb average watermelons, we at Nino’s carry 20-22 lb average melons.
So the next time you pick up a watermelon from Nino’s please be careful…not everyone can handle 22 lbs all at once!!
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