Muskmelon is a species of melons that belongs to the gourd family, similar to plants like Zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Muskmelon has either sweet or bland flesh and can be with a musky aroma, ribbed and tanned skin.
There are many muskmelons, including Cantaloupe, Persian melon, honeydew, and Santa Claus melon. Muskmelons provide a wide range of health benefits, such as it is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A which helps to strengthen the immune system and vision. They also contain antioxidants that fight cellular damages.
How To Store Muskmelons
Before storing muskmelons, it is important to understand the type of muskmelon we are dealing with. The preserving criteria vary from ripe to unripe muskmelons; it is not only for melons but all the other fruits as well.
If you want to store muskmelons without letting them go to waste, you need to select a muskmelon that fits for storing purposes. A good muskmelon feels heavy for its size and has a musky scent. Avoid melons with dents or bruises and those which are already cut. You might want to buy an unripe muskmelon if you wish to consume it after a few days.
Keep At Room Temperature
An unripe muskmelon should be kept at room temperature in a pierced paper bag for two to three days, depending on how long it takes to rip. Avoid keeping them near heat or sunlight as they will ripe prematurely, or the enzymes present in them could be denatured, which will spoil the fruit.
Cut Into Pieces Before Refrigeration
Once the fruit is ripe, it needs extra care and suitable environmental conditions to prevent it from going bad. Muskmelon cannot be stored as a whole inside the refrigerator. This is because it develops a ‘chill injury,’ which causes loss of color and flavor in the fruit. Hence, it can only be refrigerated when cut. Also, keeping the seeds intact can help keep them fresh.
Keep In Airtight Containers
If the muskmelon is cut into slices, it is best to keep it in a tightly sealed plastic or glass container before placing it inside the refrigerator. Slices or cubes of muskmelon do not last very long, even in the refrigerator. Hence it is best to consume it in a day or two.
Can You Freeze Muskmelons
To ensure your intake of fruits does not stop just because the season has ended, it is best to freeze your favorite fruits to enjoy them later on. However, freezing different fruits requires particular methods to keep them lasting and flavored. Muskmelons freeze well; here is the way how you can freeze your muskmelons for later use.
Remove flesh from rind and dice it into chunks. Set the muskmelon chunks on a tray lined with parchment paper and allow it to freeze for 2 hours. Transfer the almost frozen chunks into a freezer-friendly bag and store them inside the freezer.
How Long Does Muskmelon Last
The shelf life of anything depends on the quality and storage conditions provided to it. Good quality and properly stored melons can last longer as compared to low quality and poorly stored melons. As muskmelons cannot be kept as a whole in the refrigerator, their life span decreases as compared to other melons, like cantaloupe.
Uncut ripe muskmelons can last up to two to three days at room temperature. You can store your Muskmelons in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; to keep it lasting, the ideal storage temperature is 33 to 36 degrees F. It is necessary to place muskmelons in a plastic bag or a container before refrigerating.
If you need to preserve muskmelons for a long time, it is best to freeze them the way mentioned above. Frozen muskmelons can last in their best quality for up to 10 to 12 months in the freezer.
How To Tell If Muskmelon Is Bad
You got muskmelons in the storage for a few days, and you are wondering if it is still good or has gone bad. It is easier to tell if melons are no longer fit for eating; some of the common things to be noticed are mentioned as follows.
- Feel light: If your uncut muskmelon feels hollow and seems empty inside, it means it has lost most of the water and is not good to eat.
- Appearance: If you notice some bruises or discolored areas, it is better to discard those parts and use the rest as soon as possible. But if almost one-fourth of it has discolored or turned very soft, it is better not to consume it.
- Mold: Keeping the muskmelons longer than their expected time can make them moldy; if this happens, then it’s not for eating anymore.
- Odor: If the smell of muskmelon feels off, you would rather not eat that; it is okay to throw it.