Watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews are perhaps the most iconic melons in the United States. If you like those, you’ll love meeting more of the Cucurbitaceae botanical family! There are dozens of melon varieties, each with a distinctive flavor and sweet, fleshy fruit.
Melons are easy to prepare in many culinary ways! Melons are known for their thick rinds that protect the firm, sweet flesh and seeds inside. Some rinds are inedible, like that of cantaloupe. Other rinds are primed for pickling, like that of the watermelon.
In general, many varieties of melon seeds are edible either raw or cooked. Each variety is different, and some seeds may only be safe to eat once they’ve been cooked to improve texture and remove certain naturally occurring chemicals that can be toxic. Seeds may be roasted or boiled.
Melons can be eaten raw in slices, or enjoyed in salads, smoothies, shakes and sorbets. They may also be cooked through grilling, boiling, baking and more! Heat brings out melon’s natural sugars, giving them even more unique and complex flavor.
How to prepare your melons will depend on the recipe you’re using. Here are the most common ways to prepare melons for just about any recipe.