Honeydew melons sport pale-green to cream-colored rinds with light-green flesh. They taste sweeter than many other melons, with a flavor reminiscent of honey. Honeydew are eaten alone or mixed with other melons and fruits, their crisp texture and sweet flavor playing opposite the more syrupy sweetness of other summer fruits. Whether you purchase honeydew from the grocery or farm stand, or if you are growing it in your own garden, ensuring proper ripeness allows you to enjoy the honeydew at its peak flavor.
Inspect the honeydew prior to purchase or picking and choose the one closest to ripeness. Choose honeydew that has reached full color and has a rind that is dull, not shiny. On the vine, the tendrils around the honeydew stem are brown and dry when the honeydew is ripe.
Set the honeydew melon in a large, brown paper grocery sack. Place two to four ripening apples or tomatoes in the bag with the honeydew.
Fold the top of the bag over two times, sealing it closed. Leave the bag sitting on the corner, out of direct light, for two to three days.
Store the ripe honeydew melon in a sealed bag or container after slicing. Once ripened and sliced, honeydew should be used within three to five days.
You can slow down the ripening process by storing the uncut honeydew in the refrigerator.
The end of the honeydew that the stem was attached to has a sweet fragrance when the honeydew is ripe or nearly ripe.
Once cut, honeydew will not ripen further.