Everyone wants to know how to choose a honeydew melon or a cantaloupe. The best clues to ripeness are color and fragrance. A cantaloupe that is ready to eat will be a golden color. A honeydew melon will be a light yellow, cream, or even whitish in color when it is ripe. If either melon has a greenish tint, it's probably not yet ripe. Both fruits will have a distinct sweet fragrance at room temperature.
Both cantaloupe and honeydew should give a little when pressed gently with your fingers. The honeydew, in particular, should be slightly soft at the end away from where the stem was attached. It's also possible to shake a melon when testing for ripeness. If you hear the rattle of seeds, the melon is ready.
Most melons are picked several weeks before they appear at market so that the timing is right for consumers to take home and eat. If you think your melon may not be quite ripe, just leave it on the kitchen counter for a few days, but remember that once you cut the melon open, it will not ripen anymore.
For some more tips on melons, watch this video.