How to Pick the Perfect Sweet Cantaloupe: 5 Tips

Updated on April 5, 2017

How to Pick a Cantaloupe

Nothing is worse that running home with what you thought was a sweet, ripe cantaloupe - only to find it is inedible. It can be tricky to find a great one and since they do not ripen further once you get home, it becomes a one shot deal.

But first, why would you want to fool around with such a melon anyway? Well, here are some of the many healthy benefits:

Health Benefits of a Cantaloupe

Believed to have originated in Africa, cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C. It is rich in beta-carotene, which could lower the risk of cancers of the esophagus, larynx, and lungs. This delicious fruit also contains potassium, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamine, and is an excellent source of fiber. It is also believed to promote cellular antioxidant activity and protect against cell death.

Eating cantaloupe has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, has anti-inflammatory properties and a cantaloupe extract can be effective in the prevention of diabetic nephropathy—a progressive kidney disease.

And of course you want to pick the best one.

5 Tips for Picking the Best Cantaloupe:

  1. Aroma: A sweet cantaloupe should smell sweet. There should be an overall sweet smell but I get the absolute best melon by putting my nose close to that small round circular spot on the bottom where the stem has detached. If it doesn't smell super sweet here I don't buy it.
  2. The Stem: Should no longer be attached. A ripe melon will naturally detach its stem. Any bit of a stem attached means that the farmer cut off the melon too soon.
  3. Feel: A good cantaloupe should feel firm but never rock hard. Nor should it ever be soft and certainly not squishy in any spot.
  4. Appearance: That large smooth yellowish spot or patch on the surface shows where the cantaloupe was resting on the ground. That yellowish spot shows that the melon is ripe.
  5. Compare: A good cantaloupe should feel heavy. Compare the weight of cantaloupes. Pick up more than one and take the one that is the heaviest.

Remember: it will not ripen further once it has been picked off the vine.

Extremely Important Note: Always thoroughly wash the cantaloupe before cutting it - the skin can contain bacteria considered harmful.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Grower 

        4 weeks ago

        A cantaloupe (acutally a muskmelon in the U.S.) does continue to ripen once off the vine, but does not become sweeter.

        Once cut, however, it is far less likely to ripen any further.

        Source: Old Farmer's Almanac

      • profile image

        Dial kalsi 

        3 months ago

        Very good information about how to pick up ripe cantaloupe thank you

      • TheVacationLady profile image

        TheVacationLady 

        7 years ago from Everywhere

        Well I have certainly been going about this all wrong! Great tips..thanks so much!

      • akirchner profile image

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 years ago from Washington

        Had to come over and check out your hubs after you so kindly stopped by mine! Thanks so much for the fan mail as well.

        Those tips are excellent - I go by the aroma mostly but I never thought about the weight as well. I always look to be sure there is that c-spot (can't think of it now) as you said to signify that it was on the ground and ripening! Anyhow, great info and helps you get a good melon!

      • LivingFood profile image

        LivingFood 

        8 years ago

        Great tips! I didn't know about comparing the weights and picking the heaviest one, Thanks!

      • Veronica Allen profile image

        Veronica Allen 

        8 years ago from Georgia

        I too did not know that a cantaloupe does not continue to ripen once it is picked from the vine. What a great list, I often have a hard time choosing the right cantaloupe - which is so dissappointing once I get home.

      • theherbivorehippi profile image

        theherbivorehippi 

        8 years ago from Holly, MI

        Well now I know what I have been doing wrong all these years! I had no idea. I really believed they continued to ripen. Now I can't wait to go to the grocery store and buy one! lol

      • prettydarkhorse profile image

        prettydarkhorse 

        8 years ago from US

        easy and light reading but very useful, Thanks Carolyn, don't know about this before, Maita

      • elbacho profile image

        elbacho 

        8 years ago from Severna Park, MD

        Thank you for great information. I never thought to wash the cantaloupe first.

      • GreenThumbLady profile image

        GreenThumbLady 

        8 years ago from The Beautiful Earth

        What??? I had no idea that a cantaloupe doesn't continue to ripen after you get it home. What valuable information this is! This explains why I find myself disappointed with my choice so often! Thank you!

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