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


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        12 months 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 

        14 months ago

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

      • TheVacationLady profile image


        8 years ago from Everywhere

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

      • akirchner profile image

        Audrey Kirchner 

        8 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


        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


        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


        8 years ago from US

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

      • elbacho profile image


        8 years ago from Severna Park, MD

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

      • GreenThumbLady profile image


        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!


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)