Indiana melon grower Betty Wonning gets a kick out of folks picking out melons.
"Some thump; others sniff. I even saw one man shake a cantaloupe," she laughs.Purdue University extensionist Jerry Nelson says, with a grin, that cutting open a melon is the sure way to get a good one.
Here's the melon-picking advice Wonning offers in Midwest Living magazine:
- Cantaloupe: Look for thick netting on the skin with orange color showing through. Avoid any cracks that can cause the melon to spoil.
Midwest cantaloupes are bigger and have more ridges than smooth-skinned California melons. "People want to compare the price of California melon to ours," says Betty's husband Bob. "I say, Heck, we're giving you a lot more fruit."
- Watermelon: Choosing a watermelon takes more experience. "The belly will be yellower or bulge out more when the melon is ripe," says Betty's son Brad. "The melon also turns a duller green color."