Today I'm showing you how to prepare and slice cantaloupe two ways. 

They are also called muskmelon. Here in Michigan, this is the prime season for them right now. Did you know that muskmelons originated in Persia?

Click the image below to watch the video.

I've got two containers ready, one for the scrap and the seeds, and one for the actual melon itself. I'm going to start by taking off the ends of the cantaloupe. The cut this horizontally down through the middle. The scraps can all be composted, which we do.

Some people have saved the seeds and dried them out to plant the following season.

I've never tried it with melon seeds, but we have done it with cucumbers and some other vegetables.

Next I'll use a heavy duty spoon to I'm scrape out all of the seeds.

This is a really ripe cantaloupe. There are various methods on how to tell whether or not a cantaloupe is ripe. Some people thump melons, some people squeeze them. I found the best bet is to go by smell. If you take the end of it and it smells like a melon, then the odds are you've got a ripe melon.

Placing the melon down on the flat cut side, I next take off all of the skin (rind). Avoid leaving any of the green because that tastes bitter.

I use my trusty standby chef knife or French knife. A boning knife is also good for this.

I could have done this taking the rind off first before taking out the seeds. But then you've got this slippery piece of melon and the chances are greater that you may cut yourself, so I just I find this easier and safer to remove seeds first and work with half a melon at a time.

Notice that my chef knife is sharp. Dull knives are a safety hazard, plus make the task harder to do. You'll waste a lot of time using a dull knife.

With all the rind removed, I'll then cut the melon into slices, then each slice into one inch bite-size pieces.

As you watch the video, notice how I keep my fingers tucked back and safely out of the way while cutting. I really kind of grown attached to the tips of the fingers.

For the second half of this melon. I'm going to leave the skin on.

You'll often find the rind is still on the cantaloupe on a fruit tray, and people just kind of bite around it. In the video I demonstrate a more elegant way to prepare the slice that 1) leave the rind on, but 2) makes it easier to eat neatly.

This method cuts under just a portion of the slice, leaving the rind attached for the last inch or two on one end. Next, partially score bite-size pieces down the length of the slice up to the point where the rind is attached.

Now when somebody picks this up off the cheese tray or a fruit tray, they have something to hang on to, plus easily remove pieces to eat by curving back the slice.

Till next time, remember to savor the food you eat.

About the Author - Chef Dennis

Chef Dennis has been a professional chef for over 40 years. He has worked in many venues in the restaurant and hospitality industry... from fast food to 4 star gourmet, to owner and executive chef, and was a founding Chef Instructor at the Baker Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) in Port Huron, Michigan.

Now retired, he still loves cooking at home and teaching kitchen and cooking skills.

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