Some common varieties are Superstar, Aphrodite, Eclipse and Athena. What we call cantaloupes here in the United States are actually muskmelons. The “true” cantaloupes are only grown in Europe.
What to Look For
Cantaloupes that smell fragrant, feel heavy for their size and are well netted. Don’t select melons with any sign of a stem, because it means the fruit was picked too early. Also avoid cantaloupe with soft spots.
Easy Storage & Preparation
Most cantaloupes are sold before they are ready to eat. To ripen, put the whole melon in a loosely closed paper bag on the kitchen counter. Once it’s ripe, store your melon in the fridge. Wrap it tightly in plastic so it doesn’t absorb the odors of the food around it. Be sure to wash your melon before you slice into it. Disease-causing bacteria can cling to the outer rind and transfer to the flesh of the fruit when it’s cut.
Fresh cantaloupe is sweet, juicy and so refreshing. It’s best eaten at room temperature. Enjoy it for breakfast, or use it in salads, salsas, smoothies and sorbets. You can squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle liqueur or use a dash of salt on the fruit to draw out the flavor. Cantaloupe and salty ham (like prosciutto) is a match made in heaven.
Good Paired With