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Uses for an Unripe Cantaloupe

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Your unripe melon isn't destined for the compost bin after all.


Uses for an Unripe Cantaloupe, From Food52


Melons can be tricky. With no clear external cue for ripeness, it can be hard to tell when you have a perfectly ripe melon. One sign to look for is a large yellowish-brown patch where the melon was resting on the soil (this lets you know it’s been growing for awhile), and cantaloupes give off a strong sweet smell when they’re ripe. But sometimes you still slice into a melon and are met with not-quite-ripe flesh.

This week NLS was stuck with an unripe cantaloupe and turned to the Hotline for help. Here are some of our favorite ideas from the thread so far:

  • Turning it into a soup -- with mangos, or a white gazpacho with grapes and almonds.
  • Making a melon jam or chutney.
  • Using it as a thick base for a smoothie, or blending it with lime juice and honey for cantaloupe agua fresca.
  • Grilling the melon with a touch of salt to bring out its sweetness, from AniQuadros.

What are your favorite ideas for using unripe cantaloupes? Add your two cents to the question on the Hotline here or continue the conversation in the comments below!

Tags: hotline question of the week, hotline, question, best question, melon, cantaloupe, unripe melon, how-to & diy

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Comments (8)


almost 2 years ago Jane

I am growing melons and the first frost is coming. With the babies, I peel them and add soy sauce and sesame oil. They are great! (a little sea salt too)!


about 2 years ago Diane Ebbert McMahon

I hate to say it but I sprinkled some organic dehydrated cane juice on my cut up under-ripe hard melon and let it stand on the counter for an hour. it tasted great but adding sugar does seem to defeat the healthy purpose of eating fresh fruit. OH well....we grew up sugaring out melons and rhubarb that we raided from the neighbors garden and ate in our fort so our neighbors didn't see us. Getting rid of leaves and rinds was tricky though :)


about 2 years ago Gret

Sometimes can only get unripe melons. I put them outside,on a chair, in the sun for about 2 days. In the winter I put them in a sunny window. Never fails.


about 2 years ago Count Mockula

When I was a kid, I used to idly watch the "Green Grocer" segment on the news with my grandma. He recommended getting a cantaloupe with almost all yellow and no green between the veins. He also said it should smell like a cantaloupe at the stem end. I've never gotten an unripe one in my life.


about 2 years ago Gret

I would love to get the tip on "firmer fruit fillings", but an advertisement is covering the info about using tapioca. Can someone send the information? THANX!


about 2 years ago happymontycooks

Ice cream/sorbet/granita. Fruit leather. And roast the seeds!


about 2 years ago fernetaboutit

Pickle it!