The most popular varieties are honeydew, watermelon, rockmelon, galia, charentais and hami.
Choose melons that are heavy for their size and that give a little when pressed at the stem end – this means they are ripe. Rockmelon and honeydew should be sweet smelling. Avoid fruit with soft, sunken or brown spots as this is a sign of poor quality.
Store whole melons at room temperature for up to a week. After cutting, wrap in plastic and store in the fridge for up to three days.
Cut melon in half and remove any seeds (except in seeded watermelon). Then either use a melon baller to scoop small balls from the flesh and serve, slice the halves and serve with the skin attached, or slice, then cut away skin and dice for use in fruit salads.
5 quick ways with melon
For a cheesy salad, combine peeled and diced watermelon, crumbled feta, sliced red onion and chopped mint leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Try a mixed melon salad. Combine peeled and diced watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew with chopped mint and lime juice.
For a prosciutto and rockmelon salad, combine chopped prosciutto slices, peeled and diced rockmelon, baby spinach and sliced red onion. For a dressing, shake together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and pepper in a screw-top jar.
To make a rockmelon salsa, combine peeled and chopped rockmelon, chopped red onion, chopped coriander, olive oil, lime juice and chopped chillies. Serve with grilled fish, shellfish, chicken or pork.
For an easy juice, combine 1 cup chopped watermelon, 2 pineapple rings and 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger in a blender. Serve with ice.