Have you wondered how to pick a good cantaloupe? It is actually quite easy and there is no thumping required.
I love cantaloupes. In fact, I can, and have, made an entire meal of a cantaloupe. Some of my friends have mentioned that while they like cantaloupe, they rarely buy it because too often they have been disappointed with bland melons. I will admit that there are a lot of underripe cantaloupes at the grocery stores, but I have a trick for finding a delicious cantaloupe every time – or if not finding a perfect cantaloupe leaving without one rather than accidentally buying a tasteless cantaloupe.
Cantaloupes have been on sale for great prices recently, but it doesn’t matter how much you save on your melon purchase if you don’t bring home a delicious cantaloupe.
How to Pick a Cantaloupe
Lift the cantaloupe to your nose and smell the part of the cantaloupe where it was severed from the vine. If the vine scar smells like fresh cut cantaloupe, it will be flavorful. If you can’t pick up the sweet, musky scent of cantaloupe, put it back. Keep smelling melons until you find a cantaloupe that smells like a fresh slice of cantaloupe.
I also like my cantaloupe to be a little soft. I like a little give when I squeeze my melons – not squishy, but not rock hard either.
Picking a perfect cantaloupe is easy if you know the secret! But yes, people will look at you like your odd while you are standing in the produce aisle sniffing cantaloupes, but it is totally worth a few odd looks when you cut into a ripe melon!
Recipes using Cantaloupe:
Mojito Fruit Salad – This fruit salad is made with cantaloupe, watermelon, and melons. It is flavored with a light mint-lime dressing.
Cantaloupe and Apple Slushie – Not only is this a cool drink in the summer, you can serve it in a carved out cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe and Cucumber Infused Water – This is a refreshing way to hydrate yourself on a hot summer day.
Cantaloupe Fruit Pizza – Move over watermelon pizza, there is a new fruit pizza in town!
Cantaloupe, Apple, and Strawberry Yogurt Cup – Jazz up your yogurt with this fruit combo. This makes a filling breakfast or a healthy snack.
Now I’m growing cantaloupe here in New Orleans. Can any of you wonderful ladies how to know when to pick it off the vine? Help?!? Merci Chèr.
Thanks for this post. I never really know how to pick a melon. Now I know how to pick a cantaloupe-
Alea – you are RIGHT ON!!!! The ONLY way to pick a cantaloupe and peach for that matter is to smell it! I go nuts when I see people squeezing and bruising fresh fruit. Just yesterday a woman asks why I was smelling the peaches. So I told her and probably gave her more information than she asked for, but I did see her smelling them as I walked away. 🙂 When I get home, I set the cantaloupe on the counter and once I can smell it across the room, I’ll put it in the fridge. Thanks for sharing this knowledge!
kolfinnas korner says
I do this and sometimes go through the whole display without finding a ripe one. *sigh* Often when they DO smell ripe they are almost bad and/or going moldy.
I am fortunate to live near “catnaloupe country”, but even still I sometimes have to smell 20 – 30 cantaloupe before I find a good one.
[email protected] Today says
Alea, you are exactly right on here. You can use the same technique for peaches … and if strawberries don’t have the fragrance of strawberry, walk on by.
I always do this, but it seems there’s always a good half inch of rind to cut off, and the only way I know it’s going to be sweet and fully ripe is to let them sit until it actually gets a bad spot on it. Then I cut it open, cut off the bad spot, and the canteloupe is wonderful! I think the lopes are probably being pulled from the vine much too early.
Jane Anne says
This is good info. I don’t like cantaloupe but my kids love it. I’ve never had any idea how to choose one.