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Mouth Watering Melon

By Jennifer Bronson

One bite into a sweet, juicy melon and you know you are tasting summertime. From cantaloupes to honeydews, chilled melons help define summer beach days, barbeques and birthday parties. Sometimes picking out a melon in the store can be tricky. Melons will get softer after they are pulled from the vine, but never sweeter, so picking out a ripe one from the stack is essential. There are many theories on the best way to find the right one but generally they should feel heavy for their size, smell sweet on the blossom end, be without scars or bruises, and the spot where it was resting in the field should be slightly yellowish.

The best part about summer melons is their flexibility in recipes. Most people enjoy a fresh cut piece by itself but there are also many ways to incorporate it into your daily meals. One of my favorite recipes is a quirky watermelon salad. This salad is a mix of spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, red onions, goat feta cheese, and watermelon! Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette on top and enjoy the sweetness of this summer salad.

An easy side to bring along to parties is a southern melon salsa. Combine cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, fresh squeezed lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, and two different types of melon! Mix ingredients, chill, and serve with blue chips for a delicious starter to an afternoon barbeque. If you enjoy sweet and salty flavors together try prosciutto wrapped melon balls! All you need to do is roll honeydew balls in lime juice, wrap with thinly sliced prosciutto, and top it with a fresh mint leaf. Be sure to secure with a toothpick so they don’t roll out of their tasty package!

As the temperature continues to rise this summer, so will the fragrance of ripening melons. They truly are one of the best treats for the heat and their versatility makes them even easier to enjoy. Whether your favorite is watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew, all can be savored this season. This is the time of year for sweet, juicy, mouth-watering melons!

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