The Best Way To Store A Whole, Fresh Honeydew Melon

Despite being an underdog in the fruit world, honeydew melon has a lot to offer in the kitchen. It has a toothsome, juicy texture and a sweet, mild flavor that pairs well with many dishes and drinks, from the forever classic fruit salad to the tantalizing Honey Deuce cocktail. Figuring out how to pick a perfectly ripe honeydew is challenging enough should you choose to use it in your recipes, so once you have gotten your hands on one, you will want to take the necessary steps to keep it fresh as well.

Whole honeydew melons can be stored at room temperature — like on a countertop, for example — for up to five days. But if you are leaving it out under the impression that it will continue to ripen, you are mistaken. Melons do not continue to ripen once they have been picked, so there is not any significant benefit to storing a honeydew this way. It is best to purchase a honeydew that is already perfectly ripe and store it in the fridge instead. There, a honeydew melon can last up to three weeks — as long as it hasn't been cut. Once sliced, that timeframe is cut to just four days.

How to tell when honeydew has gone bad

Even when you have picked the perfect honeydew and stored it correctly, it — like all perishable food — will eventually begin to spoil. As such, you should always check your melon for signs of expiration in order to prevent yourself from consuming harmful pathogens like mold and bacteria. Rotten honeydew will demonstrate its poor condition through color, texture, and smell. Be on the lookout for visual cues like deep bruising on the exterior of the melon, tactile cues like excessive mushiness, and odor cues such as an acrid or sour smell similar to fermenting fruit. If any of these traits are present, it's time to dispose of your honeydew.

If you find that your honeydew melon is on the decline and you need to use it up sooner rather than later, check out some of our recipes for inspiration on how to use it creatively. For a sweet and spicy meal, look no further than these shrimp tacos with honeydew sriracha salsa. Alternatively, elevate your next set of side dishes with this sophisticated mint and melon salad.