Cantaloupe

Image courtesy of: iborn4u.org

Image courtesy of: iborn4u.org

Cantaloupes are also known as muskmelons or rockmelons. They have a rough, scaly outer skin, often tan or yellow. The inner core is a bright yellow or orange flesh. Cantaloupes are in the same family as watermelons, squash, and cucumbers. Cantaloupes have a distinct juicy and firm texture and a flavorful taste and smell.

Best Storage Practices:

Store cantaloupe in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store in crisper drawer. Properly stored cantaloupe should last about 15 days.

Fun Ways to Eat and Cook:

Cantaloupes like all fruits are delicious raw. Glazed and/or grilled cantaloupes make great toppers for sandwiches, burgers, or salads. Cantaloupes also make great ingredients for all fruit salads.

Selecting Cantaloupes:

Avoid any cantaloupes with discoloration, bruising, or spots. Select only those cantaloupes with a fresh fragrance and firm, netted outer skin. Outer skin should be tan to golden color.

Why it’s Good to Eat:

  • Excellent source of Vitamin C
  • Good source of beta carotene
  • Good source of potassium

When it’s in Season:

Cantaloupe is a summer fruit and planted in March and April. Harvests become available in late June and early July and remain available until the summer cools in August.

How it’s Harvested:

Cantaloupes grow similar to pumpkins on vine-like plants. Rough green leaves grow on the parent plant’s stem to protect the fruit and plant as a whole. Harvest is usually done by hand.

Recipes:

Fruit Salad—Chop and mix available fruits including cantaloupes, grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and honeydew. Sprinkle with sugar, or lime juice and salt, and enjoy a fresh fruit salad!