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A canary melon, also commonly called a Juan canary melon, is a large, oval-shaped fruit normally found in the western United States. When you are trying to find a ripe specimen, you should check to make sure the fruit is generally firm except on the stem end. The skin should have a slightly rough feel and a shiny, wax-like appearance. A melon is ready to be eaten when it is yellow all over, and it can be a good idea to choose one without any brown spots or blemishes.
The harvest season for canary melons ranges from March through October, with the peak crop becoming available during the summer months. This fruit is normally grown in California and Arizona, but may also be planted in temperate climates throughout the world. You will find a fresher melon if you are able to find one grown locally, especially if you purchase the fruit in June or July. If this is not possible, you may want to find out where the canary melon was grown because melons grown in a greenhouse may not be as fresh as outdoor crops are.
It is a good idea to check for melon firmness when choosing a canary melon. Generally speaking, the fruit itself should have a very firm rind, so if it feels soft the melon is probably overripe. The exception to this is found near the stem, so the surrounding skin may be somewhat soft in this area. You may want to press in on the rind to see if it gives slightly, and if so this is a good indication of melon ripeness.
A ripe canary melon somewhat resembles a very large lemon. As such, melon color is very much an indicator of how ripe this fruit is. Canary melons are green when they first sprout, but turn yellow as they develop. There should not be any green left on the melon when it is picked; otherwise, the fruit is not ready to be eaten.
It is a good idea to look for spots or blemishes on your canary melon, as these could be a sign of rotting flesh or disease. If one or two small spots are found, you may cut them away with a paring knife, and then peel and eat the remaining portions. Any leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator and eaten within a few days to prevent this fruit from spoiling.