07/15/2011 08:10 am ET | Updated Sep 14, 2011

Summer Melon Variety Guide (PHOTOS)

'Tis the season to surround yourself with melons. Although available year round, they reach their sweet, nutrient-packed peak of perfection right around now. They are also the least understood of all summer fruits. Did you know that melons are in the same family as cucumbers and squash? They are all members of the gourd family, except most melons are fruits not vegetables and are luscious, sweet, and juicy, each with its own individual personality and appeal.

There are of course the commonly known melons like cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelons, but there is also a world of melons beyond these summer favorites. On a recent trip through the South, I learned that there are more than 300 varieties of watermelon alone. I tried nearly half and had to be hosed down afterwards, willingly and with much appreciation. Below, a quick melon primer if you're ever looking for something new to try.

- Yasmin Fahr, The Daily Meal

A Guide to Summer Melons and More