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Melon balls with tarragon. Photo courtesy
American Diabetes Association.
Today’s tip comes from Good Eggs, purveyors of the freshest local produce and other foods, with stores and delivery in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco.
MELON & HERBS
Tossing any variety of sweet melon with chopped herbs adds a flavor twist to the ordinary, say the folks at Good Eggs. Their suggestions:
Cantaloupe with lemon verbena
Honeydew with basil
Watermelon with dill
We’d also suggest mint or tarragon with any melon.
If you like heat, try a sprinkle of red chile flakes.
WHAT TO DO IF THE MELON ISN’T SWEET OR SOFT
Here are two NIBBLE tricks:
If you get a melon that isn’t sweet, simply toss it with a light sprinkle of plus sugar or non-caloric sweetener.
If the melon is too hard, cut it into cubes and store it in an airtight container. In a day or two, you may find that the texture has gotten a bit softer.
HOW TO TELL IF A CANTALOUPE IS RIPE
1. PRESS the stem end; it should give slightly to the touch. But don’t let the stem end get soft; the melon will be over-ripe.
2. SNIFF the stem end for slight aroma. An unripe melon has no aroma.
3. CHECK the natural netting on the rind. It should have a yellow-orange hue, not green.
HOW TO TELL IF A HONEYDEW IS RIPE
The rind of a honeydew is much thicker than a cantaloupe, so the “press” trick doesn’t work.
1. SNIFF for a sweet aroma.
2. CHECK the rind for a golden color. Brown freckling on the rind is also an indication of a ripe honeydew. It actually can become sticky from the seepage of the natural sugars.
HOW TO TELL IF A WATERMELON IS RIPE
Watermelon doesn’t ripen further once it has been picked. Instead, when buying a whole watermelon:
1. TURN it over. The underside should have a creamy yellowish spot, not a greenish-white one. This is where it had contact with the ground as it ripened in the sun.
2. COMPARE melons of the same size. Choose the heavier melon.
Kalyn’s Kitchen flavored a fruit salad with fresh dill. Photo courtesy KalynsKitchen.com.
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