In follow up to my last post about picking a watermelon, I wanted to share my secrets for picking a ripe, juicy, tender cantaloupe.
Again, I get my “expertise” from working at a produce stand at a farmers’ market for years. I have passed my techniques on to my boyfriend who has now picked several deliciously ripe melons! 🙂
Picking a cantaloupe is not as tricky as a watermelon. Here are my secrets:
- First you will look at the rind. You will want this to be a yellowish/salmon color or hue. It should not be green or tan. The more yellow/salmon the rind, the better.
- Next you will want to give the melon a few squeezes as you rotate it around. You want there to be some give to the rind. It should not be hard. You also do not want your melon to be so soft that you can almost break through the rind if you squeezed hard enough. Just a nice give to the rind will do.
- And lastly, you are going to smell what I call the “butt” of the cantaloupe. It is going to be the end of the cantaloupe where they pulled if off of the stem. When you smell this part of the cantaloupe it should have a sweet cantaloupe smell. The stronger the scent, the riper the cantaloupe will be.
The ripest cantaloupes are going to have all 3 of these characteristics. You will find some cantaloupes that have the color, but not the give or smell. Some will have the give but not the smell, etc.
You can sometimes walk away with a good cantaloupe that has the color and give, but not a strong melon smell.
Of course, this all depends on your liking for cantaloupe. We like ours to be juicy, tender (but not mushy necessarily), and sweet! Some people prefer their cantaloupes a little harder in consistency. If that is the case, you will not want to pick a melon with a lot of give.
We have found that athena cantaloupes have produced good results. These melons tend to be much larger than regular cantaloupes so you will feel that you get more bang for your buck! They tend to have a slightly harder exterior so dont let that fool you. They will have the smell and the yellow color. Every one we have gotten has been so ripe and sweet!
Hopefully you will find these tips useful! Happy pickin’ ♥