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How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe?

Updated on September 24, 2013
How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe
How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe

How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?

A cantaloupe, also referred to as a melon, is a popular summer fruit that adorns fruit platters, fruit salads and is a perfect choice fruit to take on a picnic. It is a great fruit that will compliment any other fruit selection or is wonderful to simply eat by itself. It is best served at room temperature, however it is personal preference if you like it chilled.

Being able to select fruit that is perfectly ripe is critical as an under-ripe or over-ripe piece of fruit is a sure fire way to ruin a perfect dish.

Cantaloupes, like other melons, berries and pineapples are often hard to select at your grocery store or fruit shop as it is difficult to know if it is ripe or not.

How can you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?

Here are some simple helpful tips to ensure that you purchase the perfect cantaloupe each and every time.

What Is A Cantaloupe?

A cantaloupe, also called a melon, is a member of the cucurbit family. Its 'cousins' include the zucchini, cucumber and even pumpkin.

It has a high sugar content and is a lovely juicy sweet orange fruit. It is very versatile. It can be cut into wedges and eaten straight off the skin, can be scooped into 'melon balls' or can be cut in half and used as a 'fruit bowl' and filled with other fruits and berries (once the seeds are removed).

It does have an acquired taste and it not everyone's favorite however it is a very popular inclusion in recipes and on menus.

Quick Tip

Be sure to rinse the fruit well prior to cutting it. Because it grows along the ground, particles of dirt may carry bacteria so when you slice into it you could transfer that from the skin to the fruit, via the knife.

Remember too, you were probably not the only one who touched and sniffed the fruit before you purchased it so you may just want to rinse it anyway.

How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe

If you are looking to buy the perfect cantaloupe, ripe and ready to eat, there are a few key elements that you need to keep a look out for:

  • Smell it: A ripe cantaloupe is sweet. An odorless one is likely to be very tasteless.
  • Touch it: A ripe cantaloupe is firm to touch but has a little softness to it. If it is too spongy and soft it is overripe. The stem end will have a little bit of give if you press on it with your thumbs.
  • Weigh it: A ripe cantaloupe will feel heavier than it looks.
  • Look at it: A ripe cantaloupe will not be green on the outside. It will be light tan/beige. Avoid any that have soft spots, punctures or bruises. It is OK however to buy the fruit if it has the appearance of a white/yellow bleached looking spot. This is simply from there is rested on the ground whilst attached to the vine.

If in doubt, you can always purchase an under ripe, firm cantaloupe as it will continue to ripen over the next couple of days.

If in doubt, approach the attendant. Anyone selling fruit should be able to assist in picking out fruit that will be suitably ripe for today, tomorrow or the next day!


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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      7 years ago

      Good hub on how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe or not. It's also good how you included the tip on washing the melon first before cutting. That is something that should be done, just to make sure it's clean. And it should help to prevent diseases.


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