How To Tell If Cantaloupes Are Ripe
A cantaloupe is a delicious and low calorie fruit, but unlike most other fruits, cantaloupes do not continue to ripen after they are picked. Therefore, it is important that you purchase a cantaloupe that is ripe or else you just waste your money and your cantaloupe will not be as delicious.
How to Tell if a Cantaloupe is Ripe
The first way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is to pick it up, hold it to your face, and take a good, deep sniff of the cantaloupe. A ripe cantaloupe will have a musky, sweet smell. If a cantaloupe is odorless, it is likely tasteless as well. So when you are picking out a cantaloupe at your local grocery store or farmer's market, make sure that it has that musky, sweet smell.
Another way to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is to press on the end opposite the stem end. (Don't press on the stem end--which has an indent--press on the end on the OPPOSITE side of the stem end.) That side of the cantaloupe should give a little. However, be careful! You don't want a lumpy or mushy melon that means that it is past its prime or over ripe. At that point you will no longer have a flavorful cantaloupe but one that is more water than flavor.
Look At It
Be sure to take a look at the rind of the cantaloupe. Make sure there are no bruises, punctures, or any mold on the cantaloupe. Also, if the cantaloupe's webbing is healthy green it is not ripe, and as mentioned above, it will not ripen on its own. A rind with an orange or gold hue indicates that the cantaloupe is ripe and ready to be enjoyed.
Tip: The flavor of a cantaloupe is fullest at room temperature; however, many prefer the juiciness of a cantaloupe when it is chilled.
© 2013 Maya Frances
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