If you’re like me, you can use some tips for picking ripe cantaloupe, because it can be hard to tell when it’s ready to eat!
I find it disappointing to be preparing a cantaloupe for dinner, only to take one taste and it is bland and flavorless. I’ve learned my lesson and discovered how to choose or pick a cantaloupe that is ripe and ready to eat. Now when I’m either picking fruit at the store or from my own garden, there are three simple tips to remember to help you wisely spend your money and time.
Follow these simple tips to choose a melon that is ripe and ready to eat.
- LOOK – Cantaloupe should be a nice golden yellow color. Don’t pick cantaloupe that are greenish. They are not ready! Don’t worry about rough spots that may be on the outside of your cantaloupe. They don’t mean anything as to the ripeness.
- FEEL – You should be able to feel the edges of the outer skin. A smooth skin means it is not ripe. The flower end (the end not attached to the vine) is soft. You should be able to press it gently in. If it springs back out after pressing, your cantaloupe is ready.
- SMELL – Place the flower end or the “button” of the cantaloupe just under your nose and take a whiff. A strong sweet aroma indicates the cantaloupe is ready. Sometimes you will smell the strong aroma without smelling the button. If it doesn’t have a scent, don’t pick it or buy it. It is not sweet.
Cantaloupe from the store or market can be yummy, but my favorite is freshly picked from my garden. Now when I eat cantaloupe, it is like a little slice of heaven. Picked right off the vine, it is heavy, fragrant, juicy, and still warm from sitting in the sun. I love to garden!
TIP FOR GROWING: Be sure to begin your seeds indoors early spring so you can have good healthy larger plants when it is warm enough outside. Melons like a long hot growing season!