Cantaloupes are delicious and refreshing, perfect for adding some sweetness to your diet. This is a guide to help you master the art of choosing the perfect cantaloupe.
Look at the color
The color of a cantaloupe is a good indicator of whether or not it is ripe. A ripe cantaloupe will be a warm shade of orange or yellow. A cantaloupe that is still growing will have a greenish tint to it. When the fruit is picked, it will not continue to ripen.
The stem should be free from the fruit
An additional way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is by looking at the stem. If it is still attached to the fruit, then it may not be ripe. The stem will detach easily from ripe cantaloupes. If the fruit has no stem, it indicates that it was picked too soon.
Another way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is by smelling it. A ripe cantaloupe will have a sweet aroma to it. However, a bad smell indicates that the fruit is overripe or rotten. If there is no smell at all, it may need more time to ripen further.
Give it a squeeze
If you lightly press on the bottom of the cantaloupe and it gives slightly, then it is ripe. If it feels too hard, it is not yet ripe, while an overly soft cantaloupe suggests that it is overripe and may be spoiled.
The texture is easy to spot
The texture of a cantaloupe can also be a sign of its ripeness. A ripe cantaloupe will have a slightly rough texture on the skin. If the surface is smooth, it may not be ripe yet. Additionally, the skin should be firm but slightly yielding, almost velvety to the touch. The cantaloupe should also feel heavy for its size.
Listen to the sounds
When you tap or thump a ripe cantaloupe, it will make a dull sound. If it sounds hollow, the cantaloupe may not yet be ripe.
Choose the right environment
It is important to choose the right environment when selecting a cantaloupe. Cantaloupes ripen best in a warm, dry environment, but they must be stored in a cool place after harvesting.
Inspect the skin
Carefully inspect the outside of the fruit. Avoid fruit with bruises, soft spots, or any sign of damage, as they can indicate mold or mildew, which can spread quickly and cause spoilage.
When in doubt, use a combination of the above tests. Always be sure to check the cantaloupe for any signs of damage, and choose the fruit that feels the heaviest, indicating good juice content.
When is it best to eat cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is best eaten when it is fully ripe, as the flavor is at its richest and the nutritional content is highest at this stage. It is generally best to store cantaloupes in a cool, dry place because they ripen fast and can spoil easily.
How do you store cantaloupe?
When you bring home sweet, ripe cantaloupes, store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. You can store the fruits in the refrigerator before and after cutting them. It is best to wrap the melon in parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent contamination or cross-contamination.
When do cantaloupes generally ripen?
In mild, warm climates, cantaloupes generally ripen in summer, whereas in cooler climates, they ripen later. A few varieties have been bred to withstand cold soil conditions and may grow in cooler climates. They are also a good source of vitamins A, C, and potassium, so they make a deliciously nutritious addition to any summer menu.
- Q: Can you eat cantaloupe seeds?
- A: Yes, cantaloupe seeds are edible, but they should be rinsed off first.
- Q: How do you cut cantaloupe?
- A: Wash the cantaloupe, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds in the center, and then slice or cube the flesh.
- Q: Do you wash cantaloupe before eating it?
- A: Yes, you should always wash cantaloupe before eating it to remove dirt and any bacteria that may be present.
1. Hadley, G. (2021, June 17). How to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe. The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-tell-if-a-cantaloupe-is-ripe-1388995
2. How to pick the perfect cantaloupe. (2017, June 9). Epicurious. https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-to-pick-the-perfect-cantaloupe-article
3. Goodwin, R. (2020, May 21). Everything you need to know about cantaloupe. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cantaloupe