An ogen melon is a variety of fruit native to Israel, though it is now grown throughout the world. When shopping for one, you should look for a very round fruit that has a dark yellow rind and thin green stripes. The weight of these melons can be a key consideration, as size may also indicate the ripeness of the fruit. You may also want to check for melon firmness to make sure that the fruit is neither under-ripe nor over-ripe. Avoid buying those with dark brown spots, very soft skin, or a foul odor.
It can be helpful to look at the rind of an ogen melon before choosing one. Generally speaking, this fruit is ready to be eaten whenever the skin is a dark yellow or gold color. This rind may be somewhat mottled and contain splashes of orange as well. There are thin stripes running from top to bottom, and these are normally dark green when the fruit is ripe.
These Israeli melons are typically very round fruits that are approximately the size of a softball. They normally weigh between 3 to 5 pounds (1.4 to 2.3 kg) each, but melons that are heavier for their size are generally riper than smaller ones are. You may want to compare several similar-sized melons to see if certain ones are heavier than others to tell which specimens are ready to be eaten. If an ogen melon feels especially light, it may have been picked too soon.
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Checking the melon's firmness can give you an idea of when the fruit is ready. It can be a good idea to press in on the rind in several spots to see how soft this covering is. The rind should give slightly, but you should not be able to completely penetrate the skin while doing so. You may also want to tap the rind to see if it produces a hollow sound, as this is also an indication than an ogen melon is ripe.
Once an ogen melon begins to go bad, it often develops brown spots on its rind. This melon may also begin to smell sour, and this odor is often very strong when the fruit is cut open. Both the rind and the skin may become mushy during this time as well. An ogen melon should generally be kept in the refrigerator and used within two or three days so you can enjoy this fruit at its peak ripeness.