Slideshow SLIDESHOW: 14 Refreshing Recipes for Melon Season

Melons don't get enough love in this world, and I think I know the reason why. Every single fruit salad I've ever eaten (I may be exaggerating, but bear with me), whether it be out of a plastic takeout container at the local deli or scooped from a giant communal bowl at a hotel breakfast bar, starts off the same way. I stick my fork into a large, juicy green grape, then a positively candy-like kiwi round studded with crisp black seeds, followed by a tender slice of strawberry. This is breakfast perfection, I think to myself.

But it all goes downhill from there, as fruit salad after fruit salad pulls a trick usually reserved for New York City real estate: the bait and switch. Craigslist promised me a Park Slope two-bedroom with a dishwasher, a skylight, and at least half a cup of blueberries and I got a stinky basement-level studio in Coney Island and a pile of overlarge, underripe cubes of cantaloupe and honeydew (can you tell I'm apartment-hunting right now?).

Most pre-prepped melon tastes like Styrofoam and looks like Bunnicula got to it before you did, so I tend to forget that ripe watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew is a delight to eat, cook with, and blend into drinks. This is a shame. Melon doesn't have to mean bad fruit salad. For the rest of the summer I vow to do my part to reverse the stigma against melons, mainly by eating and drinking melon-y things. Are you with me?

Savory Dishes

Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer

Sweet Dishes

Photograph: Lucy Baker

Alcoholic Drinks

Photograph: Kelly Carámbula

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Photograph: Autumn Giles

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