The Best Method For Peeling Cantaloupe

A cantaloupe can be used for much more than a simple fruit salad. It adds tasty caramelized notes when grilled and tossed in pasta salad, serves as a sweet base for cocktails, smoothies, and chilled cantaloupe soup, and when it comes to entrees, it's the unexpected fresh and fruity kick in glazed hens with cucumber-cantaloupe salad. So, to unveil the juicy orange melon that is cantaloupe, let's talk about peeling this fruit.

The best method is to peel the whole cantaloupe rather than small sections of the cut fruit. Begin by slicing off the top and bottom ends until you see the orange flesh underneath. Now you have a stable base on which to stand the melon upright on a chopping board. Next, using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the rind with the green flesh starting from the top to the bottom of the fruit while following its curvature. Do this all around until the melon is completely peeled.

Alternatively, you can tweak this process slightly by first halving the cantaloupe at the equator. This simple modification is ideal if peeling a whole cantaloupe at once is too intimidating or if you want a wider fruit base for increased stability as you peel. It's also a great option if you only need part of the fruit and want to refrigerate the other for later. With the large cut surface as a base, proceed to peel the fruit as explained above.

How to cut a peeled cantaloupe

Once the cantaloupe is peeled, cut it in half and scoop the seeds with a spoon. Depending on what dish you want to prepare with this fruit, you have a few options for cutting. Simple slices are the most basic — just position one half of the fruit at a time on the chopping board and cut crosswise from one edge to make a quarter or half-inch slices. For wedges, cut the fruit into quarters, then half each quarter, and so on until you get the size of wedges you like. Lastly, you can make melon cubes by sectioning the wedges crosswise.

If you're tired of the same old slices, wedges, and cubes, there are other ways to cut uniquely shaped melon pieces. First, you can make melon balls using a melon baller. Just curve into the melon with the baller and take it around in one spot until you cut out the flesh. This doesn't require peeling the cantaloupe in advance, but there's no harm in doing it on your peeled fruit. Alternatively, make various unique shapes using cookie cutters. Just lay the cut melon slices flat on the chopping board and stamp out different shapes using small cookie cutters: From heart shapes and stars to flowers and diamonds. With that, your melon pieces are ready to feature in a pretty fruit platter, fruit skewers, or salad bowls. Enjoy.