Cantaloupes are juicy and sweet fruits that make for an appetizing treat on a warm summer day. One can always enjoy them fresh from the cutting board or as an addition to a fancy dessert. However, there are a growing number of reports about cross-contamination in cantaloupes. You can avoid such issues if you know how to prepare and cut a cantaloupe the correct way. Learn how you can put your knife skills to good use while making sure the cantaloupe you prepare is as healthy as any other fresh fruit.
Picking the Right Cantaloupe
Give the cantaloupe a good sniff. You should be able to smell the nice melony and floral aroma. Pay special attention to the area opposite where the stem is. This is where the fruity scent of cantaloupes is at its strongest.
Give the cantaloupe a light shake. A ripe cantaloupe will have its seeds a bit loose. You can almost feel the seeds rattling inside the fruit as you shake it a bit. You may also hear a faint rattling sound. This is always a good sign that you have a ripe fruit on your hand.
If the cantaloupe is not at its peak ripeness yet, you can put it in your refrigerator. This is one way you can ensure you get a nice and cold summer treat by the time you’re ready to prepare the cantaloupe. If you don’t like it cold, you can leave the cantaloupe on your kitchen counter until it ripens.
Prepare and Cut the Cantaloupe
Get one of your best cutting knives and wash it well. This is one of the most common sources of cross-contamination in food preparation. If you cut some other food items using the same knife, there’s a chance that you will introduce some of these substances into your cantaloupe.
Wash your cantaloupe as well. Nobody knows how many individuals have had their hands on the melon before you had the chance to buy it. They may have germs in their hands and you can introduce these germs into the flesh of the melon if you don’t wash its skin.
Place your knife at the stem area of the cantaloupe. Hold the knife with a firm grasp and drive it all the way towards the bulb section at the other end. You should now have two perfect halves of cantaloupe.
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Scoop Out the Seeds
Most individuals will use a spoon to scoop out the seeds at the center of the cantaloupe. While this works, you will find using your fingers to be a much-better solution. Make sure that you wash your hands well before you start digging into the clump of seeds, however.
Your fingers can scrape the seeds a lot better than using a spoon. You can maneuver your fingers in the nooks and crannies of the fruit to remove all the seeds without gouging into the soft and ripe flesh of the cantaloupe.
To aid in the scooping of the seeds, use a little fingernail action to detach the cantaloupe seeds from its stem-end. You can also cut this section using a paring knife. This area attaches the clump of seeds to the fruit. That is why you will need to remove this attachment first. You can then scrape the rest of the seeds using your thumb.
Slice the Cantaloupe into Wedges
After scooping out the seeds, it’s time to slice the cantaloupe halves into smaller wedges. Depending on the size of the fruit, you can cut 4 wedges per half if it is small. If it is large, then you can make 6 to 8 wedges per half.
Slice Off the Rind
Cutting the cantaloupe into smaller wedges helps prepare you for the last step. Since the wedges are smaller than the actual melon half, you can hold it in your hand.
Cradle the skin of the cantaloupe with your hand to stabilize it. Slide your paring knife between the melon flesh and the rind at the level where the color of the melon changes. You can then continue slicing off the rind of the remaining cantaloupe wedges. You can also slice the wedges into bite-sized chunks for greater variety.
It’s that simple! You can now enjoy your cantaloupe wedges without worrying about cross-contamination.