These netted melons are members of the Cucurbitaceae family. Among their relatives are the green honeydew melon, cucumbers, and squash. The soft yet crisp orange flesh of cantaloupe melon is a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, and potassium.
You may notice that the melons in your boxes will have a ground spot on one side of the rind that is a different color than the rest of the rind. As the name indicates, this is the place the melon rested on the ground. The first sugar in the fruit develops at the ground spot.
Cut into wedges or cubes, chill in the fridge, and serve cold. Puree cantaloupe and serve with ice cream, yogurt, homemade popsicles, or smoothies. Add to a fruit or veggie salad or a fresh salsa.
The summer season cantaloupes we send out in our Abundant Harvest Organics produce boxes should be just about ready when you get them home. The melon might need a day at room temperature to finish ripening. Late season melons take a few days longer as they don’t ripen as much in the field because of the cooler temperatures.
You’ll know the cantaloupe is ready when the spots between the netting are yellow instead of green, the ends give a little when squeezed, and the scent is nice and fragrant. Let it ripen before putting it in the fridge to store.
When ripe, store your melon in the fridge. Whole melons should last about a week, and cut melons should be eaten within a few days.
Cantaloupe can absorb odors from other foods in the fridge so keep it wrapped in plastic, or store cut melon a sealed container.
Cut cantaloupe also freezes well. It should be used within about a month, and if you plan to serve it as is, it’s best if eaten before it fully thaws.
One easy way to cut a cantaloupe is to cut a thin slice from the stem end to create a flat platform. Then, stand the melon on the flat side on a cutting board and cut into halves. Open the melon to scoop out the seeds and proceed to cut the melon into slices, cubes, or balls.