The melon that Americans call cantaloupe is actually a muskmelon. True cantaloupes are mainly grown in Europe and have a rough, warty surface quite different from the melons grown in the United States. The American “cantaloupe” is the most nutritious melon of all and is related to the squash family. Cantaloupes were cultivated in Egypt and migrated across to Iran and Northwest India dating as far back to Biblical times, about 2400 B.C.E. Egyptian paintings dating back to that period include fruits that are identified as melons. In the ancient world, no distinction was made between melons that were netted, such as the cantaloupe, or non-netted, as in the honeydew. In the mid-1800s, Navahos in the United States Southwest grew cantaloupes whose seeds probably arrived via Latin America. Eat fresh cantaloupe, make a tasty salsa, or use in sorbets!
Storing & Cooking Information
Wash your melon's rind and your knives before cutting.
Melons will ripen after they are picked but their sugar content won't increase. It will take up to four days for melons to ripen at room temperature. Since melons are ethylene sensitive, they will ripen more rapidly in the presence of ethylene-producing fruit such as bananas and pears. Do not refrigerate melons unless they become too ripe or have been cut.