Harvest of the Month: Cantaloupe

While they are considered to be the most popular melon in the United States, cantaloupes actually get their name from the town of Cantalupo, Italy. Cantaloupes are part of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes other melons, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and gourds. From June through August, these melons are at the peak of their flavor, and with approximately 100 calories per average-sized melon, this sweet fruit is a true summer favorite!

How to Select

Look for cantaloupe with prominent, cream colored ridges and select those free from bruising. The stem of a cantaloupe should be smooth and well rounded. When ripe, the stem will yield to light pressure. Another sign of a ripe melon is a sweet, musky aroma.

How to Store

Ripe melons should be refrigerated, but not frozen. It is best to not cut a cantaloupe until you are ready to eat it. Cut melon should be wrapped tightly with seeds intact to keep the flesh from drying out until it’s ready to be eaten.

How to Prepare

Cantaloupe can be cut and eaten immediately at room temperature or chilled. It can be enjoyed on its own, added to a fruit salad, or used as a topping on yogurt! Cantaloupe can be a great appetizer if wrapped in prosciutto, too!

Try cantaloupe in the recipe for Cantaloupe Ice Pops from Eating Well.

Tags: , ,