Honeydew melon is not a fruit that you can casually mention in a conversation. Honeydew is not like strawberries or apples, a fruit whose existence you appreciate and enjoy without controversy. Oh no, honeydew is a different animal altogether, one that inspires feelings in people. Feelings of joy and happiness, anger and loathing, sadness and disappointment, all of which they will need to immediately share with you. You could be breaking the news of a terminal illness to someone, and if by some strange chance honeydew comes up, it’s all over. You will now be discussing honeydew and nothing else.
This abundance of opinions quite obviously stems from the ubiquity of honeydew, and the laziness in which it’s presented to us. It is the filler in the fruit salad that no one ever wants, treated as the unequivocal bitch of the bowl. It is the afterthought of the catering platter, the green backdrop used to help the cantaloupe's vivid orange and pineapple’s electric yellow pop. And this, for most of us, defines all our interactions with honeydew. It’s not something that makes our eyes light up when we see them piled high in a supermarket bin, like we do at the first sight of fresh summer peaches or delicate September figs. Honeydew is the white noise of the fruit world, and most months, it more than earns that title.
But when honeydew is ripe, oh Lord when it’s ripe! A honeydew that has reached its apex state is more glorious than all other melons that neighbor it in the produce aisle. It is bursting with floral sweetness, dripping with juices that almost taste like, obviously, honey. It makes all those more colorful melons tremble in its wake as they remember that so much of their success comes only from looks, while honeydew blows them all away in the talent department. In the immortal words of Krusty the Clown: “Honeydew is the money melon.”
Now let’s address the obvious: while you can make good decisions when buying your own melon, especially during peak season, most of your interactions with honeydew will be in social situations where sub-par specimens will be presented to you in bite sized cubes. The people making those fruit platters obviously don’t care, so it’s up to you to coax the magic out of them. Here’s some ways you can do that:
Fill a cup all the way with cubes of honeydew cubes, then cover with whatever is available you think could work. Orange juice, ginger ale, and champagne are all good choices.
Add a pinch of something
Sprinkling just a little bit of salt over any melon makes it taste so much better. If there’s some balsamic vinegar on the table, try a dash of that. Maybe there are some honey packets for a tea station? Those would work, too. If your experiments don’t work, just toss them out and try again. It’s not like there aren't pounds of honeydew still languishing on the buffet for you to give it another go.
Use to infuse
Cut your cubes up even smaller and put in your cup of herbal tea or cocktail. When you’re done drinking, you’ll have a nice little honeydew surprise at the bottom.