Are you wondering what a melon baller is? It does sound like a name for a child’s toy but really, this is a handy kitchen tool. It looks similar to the ordinary teaspoon but it has a tip that is spherical in shape. It is not used for eating but for preparing ingredients.
Though it is called a melon baller, this tool is not only used for melons. It is can also be utilized for other types of fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon, mangoes and other soft fruits which need to have a rounded shape. Another use of this tool is to form balls of mixed dough or other dry mixtures that are used in baking or making pastries.
Types of Melon Baller
These days, there are different types of melon baller in the market according to the material used for it. Metal ones are more versatile because these are perfect for both soft mixtures and fruits with more firm meat. Metal melon baller is also more durable. So long as it is properly washed and dried before storing, it could last for many years. Another material used for melon baller is plastic. One advantage of plastic melon ballers is that the scoop is usually thinner, making it easier to poke through various ingredients. Plastic ones are often made with easy to grip handles so maneuvering it would not be too tasking. Problem is, if the plastic is not so durable, there is a tendency for it to bend or even break. Wooden melon ballers are quite rare but these are also available. These are great to use because it is lightweight but if not taken cared of the right way, the wood may easily rot and break.
Some melon ballers only have one scoop. However, there are also others which are double sided. It is good to invest on one that has double scoops. Usually, double-sided ballers have scoops of different sizes. So, with a double-sided baller, there is no need to buy two just to get the size that you want.
How Melon Baller is Used
Using the melon baller for the first time is quite a challenge for a lot of people. If you are also having trouble in achieving the perfectly spherical shape that you want, do not worry because all it takes is a little practice and some simple techniques.
To achieve the desired roundness, the melon baller has to be angled when poking it into the fruit. Allow the side of the scoop to dig in to the fruit. Slowly rotate the spoon to 360 degrees until the spherical shaped-portion is detached from the rest of the fruit. Sometimes, when the penetration of the melon baller is not deep enough, the shape would not come out perfectly. Hence, it is important to push a little harder when using the melon baller.
After pulling the melon baller out of the fruit, it only takes a light tapping so that the spherical fruit would come out. Do not force the fruit out using your fingers because this might ruin the shape.
Although cantaloupe strips are often added to make cantaloupe juice (known as Melon juice in the Philippines) , I found that cantaloupe balls shaped from a melon baller also works. It is like having one of those bubble teas.