A member of the melon family, cantaloupes are a mainstay in the farmers' market during the summer months.
The most beloved cantaloupe is the muskmelon, with a tan, net-like skin covering. It is heavy, round, and firm with bright orange flesh that is very sweet when ripe. The cantaloupe is an excellent source of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
It is very low in calories, while high in manganese and potassium. The cantaloupe was cultivated in Iran, India and Africa, but the name actually derives from a town in Italy, Cantaloupe.
Tan with orange flesh
Cantaloupe should be heavy for its size. For a ripe melon, the stem end should yield gently to pressure and it should have a slight melon aroma.
It is advised to wash the whole melon thoroughly before cutting because the surface can hold bacteria. Store on the counter until ripe and in the refrigerator after ripe. Cut cantaloupe can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to three days.