I happen to love ripe cantaloupe – the sweet fragrance, the slightly firm texture, the juiciness. They never last long at our house. Peeling them, though, is tricky for lots of people. My mom always cut them in half, scraped the seeds out, cut them into wedges, and then removed the peel from each wedge. That’s a lot of work.
I worked in restaurants for years – front of the house and back – and during my catering days I learned this neat little trick that I love to share with other melon fans. I always use an 8 inch chef’s knife to peel my melons and a lined garbage bowl, which makes clean-up so much easier.
To peel a cantaloupe, start by cutting the ends off. This gives you a flat surface so you can stand the melon on its end.
Then, angle your knife so you can cut under the skin, removing as little of the melon flesh as possible. Cut a strip all of the way down the melon following it’s natural contours.
Turn the melon and continue to slice the skin away until it’s all gone. Flip your melon over and gently slice away any pieces that are left.
Cut the melon in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds.
You can fill the cantaloupe half and serve it that way. My Vanilla Bean Ice Cream would be a wonderful choice. Or, you can cut it into wedges.
Another option is cutting the melon into chunks the simple way. Slice across the melon half lengthwise as shown below. Take care to hold the melon together but keep your hands clear of the knife.
Slice down and make long melon pieces perfect for wrapping with prosciutto. The Columbus Foodie has a beautiful cantaloupe prosciutto salad. (Although I now live in Dallas, I’m a native Columbus girl and love this blog! Becke has a gift for portraying the very best of Columbus food – restaurants, farmer’s markets, events…she has it all! You must make time to visit her blog.)
Or, slice again and you have quick and yummy melon cubes.
Have a better way to prepare melon? How do you pick a good melon? (I’ve gotten better through experience…) What about the perfect way to enjoy it? Let me know.
My next post…something yummy to make with all that peeled cantaloupe, of course….Cantaloupe with Whipped Mascarpone Cheese and Double Berry Drizzle. Oh, it’s good.