How to pick a Cantaloupe

March 5, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, one of my readers (Hi Jody!) asked me if I knew how to pick a good and ripe cantaloupe.

Here’s how to pick a ripe, sweet and delicious cantaloupe! Hope this helps you Jody :).


Did you know that Cantaloupes are the sweetest of all the melons?

Did you also know that they continue to ripen after they are harvested?

When a cantaloupe is ready and mature, it will fall from the vines by itself, which means that mature cantaloupes do not have to be cut from the vines by fruit pickers. When you look for cantaloupes at your local market or grocery store, have a look at the top. If it is in like a belly button, your know that it fell from the tree by itself, which means that it is ripe. If the “belly button” comes out, it means that the fruit was cut from the vines. Since all of the flavors are created while on the vine, if the melon is cut off of the vines, the melon will not contain as much flavor as a fully ripened cantaloupe would.

Once you have checked the “belly button” situation, pick up the cantaloupe and look at its shape. Make sure it is symmetrical and that it is heavy for it’s size. Its skin should be dry and corky. Don’t buy a cantaloupe that has a sticky or waxy skin. The color of the skin should be a cream and/or yellow color with almost or no green to it. Green means that your melon is not ripe and therefore immature. A green cantaloupe will be quite flavorless. If the cantaloupe is soft in different spots, it means that it is overripe.

The final test would be to smell the opposite side of the stemmed end (the belly button end). You should smell the wonderful aromas of a great cantaloupe. You can also press on it. It should be a bit softer than the rest of the cantaloupe.

Once you take your fruit home, you can leave it on the counter and smell it everyday. If the smell keeps getting better, it means that it is still ripening. When it is smelling very good, you can put it in the fridge and eat it as soon as possible. Cantaloupes will be at their “ripeness peak” for about 3 days so make sure you eat it when it smells great!

Did you know that in 1 cup of cantaloupes you get 108% of your daily value of vitamin A and 97.8% of Vitamin C?

Make sure you eat cantaloupe frequently! It’s so good for you! :)

Info Sources:
  • Brick Heck

    Cantaloupe tree? Seriously?

  • Stephanie Wiecz

    Well I guess I am off to the darn grocery store to return yet more fruit because they had an entire bin of cut cantaloupe and I bought a bunch of them and 9 days later they are still not ripe.

  • strategery

    Cantaloupe will only ripen on the vine. If buying whole cantaloupe, pick the yellowed ones. Smell them, they should have a noticeable flower smell and slight give to the touch at the blossom end, opposite the stem end.