Produce Spotlight on Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe, a member of the gourd family, are a popular type of muskmelon and are often called “melons.” This juicy fruit is loaded with vitamins A and C and is a good source of potassium and beta carotene.
Shopping for Cantaloupe
Look for heavy, firm melons with netted, yellow-orange skin. Avoid cantaloupes with soft spots or bruises. The stem end should yield slightly when pressed, and the melon should smell slightly musky. Massachusetts-grown cantaloupes are available in August and September.
Sugar Cube – round melon with coarsely netted skin and thin rind; orange flesh full of sweetness and flavor; long shelf life; typically 2 pounds.
Hearts of Gold – heirloom variety; round fruit with thin rinds and sweet, deep orange flesh; 3 pounds.
Hannah’s Choice – elongated melon with vibrant orange flesh and tropical fruit aroma; 3 to 5 pounds.
Olympic Express Hybrid – large melon with crisp orange flesh and a small seed cavity; 6 to 7 pounds.
Storage and Preparation
- Unwashed and uncut unripe cantaloupe can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. Once ripened, store in the refrigerator for up to one week until ready to be eaten.
- Before cutting into a cantaloupe, carefully wash the outside under cool running water and gently scrub as needed.
- To prepare, cut in half and scoop out seeds. Slice into wedges or cubes, or use a melon baller for ball-shaped pieces.
- Refrigerate cut wedges of cantaloupe in an airtight container for up to three days.
- Keep cut-up cantaloupe on hand for a healthy, quick snack.
- Make a salsa with cantaloupe, red onion, cucumber, and lime juice.
- Add to a fruit salad.
- Use in a smoothie.
- To make ice pops, puree with water, sugar, and lemon juice and freeze.
- Roast rinsed cantaloupe seeds in a 325º F oven for 20–30 minutes.
1 medium cantaloupe =
about 3 pounds = 4½ cups cubed
1 serving = 1 cup cubed
Using Locally Grown Produce
For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes/. To locate places to buy local produce, visit www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-grownand-fresher.