How to Tell If Honeydew Is Ripe, Because No One Likes a Bland Melon

Watermelon and cantaloupe might be the star melons of summertime, but honeydew deserves just as much love. Don’t believe us? You just haven’t tasted a sweet, juicy, impeccably ripe one—yet. This muskmelon may be green in color, but when ripe, it tastes like candy and is packed with vitamin C. Here's how to tell if honeydew is ripe (because nobody likes those bland chunks of melon in their fruit salad).

How to tell if honeydew is ripe:

Unlike cantaloupe, honeydew doesn’t become quite as fragrant when it’s ripe enough for harvest, which means finding one that’s ready to eat can be a bit tricky. And like most melons, honeydew won’t get sweeter once cut from the vine (although it will get softer), so it’s especially important to buy a ripe one at the store. Here’s how to do it.

1. Consider the color. The rind of a ripe honeydew will be a bright, creamy yellow color. If it looks particularly green, skip it—it’s probably underripe.

2. Test the texture. Is that rind smooth and waxy? It’s ripe for the pickin’. Does it look dingy and dusty? Do not pass go, do not collect that melon. According to Gardener’s Supply, that’s a sign that it was harvested before fully ripening.

3. Give it a feel. Find the blossom end, which is opposite the end where it was attached to the vine. Give it a press with your thumb and it should feel slightly springy with a slight give. If it’s rock hard, it’s underripe, and if it’s total mush, it’s definitely past its prime.

Will a honeydew melon ripen once it’s cut?

Nope. Unfortunately, melons don’t ripen after they’re harvested, so what you buy is what you get. But if you slice into a honeydew and it happens to be underripe, don’t despair. You can try blending it into smoothies or making a gazpacho, or tossing slices on the grill to bring out some of its sweetness.

Should honeydew be stored in the refrigerator?

Actually, yes! Since it won’t ripen on your counter, you can store honeydew melon in the fridge when you bring it home. Just make sure to wash the rind really well before cutting it up, since honeydew grows on the ground (and you don’t want to eat that dirt).

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Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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