Image of Cantaloupe Melon

Cantaloupe can either thrill or disappoint - it all depends on when and how you select one! The longer a cantaloupe stays on the vine, the sweeter the flavor. However, to select the perfect cantaloupe, even in the peak of summer, you have to know what to look for.

Scientific Binomial Name: Cucumis melo

SELECTION INFORMATION
Usage

Fresh in fruit salads or in fruit platters. If you want to try something different, wrap cantaloupe in thinly sliced prosciutto.

Cantaloupe is great for juicing.

Selection

Good-quality Cantaloupe will have large webbing or netting on the skin, will have yellow/orange coloring and be slightly soft on the stem end (firm elsewhere).

A good quality melon will also have a good Cantaloupe smell on the stem end (if it is not too cold), and the scar at the stem end should be a smooth and well-rounded cavity.

Finally, you can hear the seeds rattle inside a juicy melon when shaken. Often, melons will have a decidedly bleached side that rested on the soil - this does not affect the quality of the melon.

Avoid

Avoid product with a rough stem end with portions of the stem remaining - this means the melon was harvested too early.

Product with green coloring, soft or sunken spots or dark and dirty spots that look moldy are all signs of poor quality.

Storage

Only refrigerate melons that have become too ripe or have been cut. Store whole ripe or cut melons between 40°F and 45°F. A whole ripe melon can be refrigerated for about three to five days.

Keeping the seeds inside a cut melon will help keep it moist. Cut melons should be wrapped, and always taste better if they are brought to room temperature before eating.

Freezing melons is not recommended.

Ripening

After picking melons will ripen but their sugar content does not increase much. At room temperature it takes up to four days for melons to ripen and get more juicy. Melons are ethylene sensitive, so they ripen faster if stored with ethylene-producing frui

  • Nutritional Information
  • Cantaloupe is low in Saturated Fat, Calories, and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It's also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Folate, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium.

  • Tips & Trivia
  • For perfect flavor, let your cantaloupe sit at room temperature (not in the window) until you can tell it is ripe according to the tips listed on the previous screen.

    If you like your cantaloupe cold, put it into the refrigerator after it has ripened.

    What Americans call cantaloupes are actually muskmelons. True cantaloupes are not netted, have smooth to rough skin and are not commercially grown in the United States. Europeans recognize a clear distinction between cantaloupes and muskmelons.

    Melons came originally from the Orient, via Armenia, to Europe and then to America.

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