My father passed on his guide to selecting a good one as follows:
Remember your hand when selecting loupes.
A - Aroma should be pleasing at the stem.
N - Netting, there should be a lot on the surface of the loupe.
D - Depression, the stem base should sink in a little.
I have always picked good cantaloupes using this as a guide.
By Susanne from Boiling Springs, PA
My son works in the produce section of one of our local grocery stores and he says to look at the "squiggles" on the outside of a cantaloupe. If they are close together, it's not ready. If there is a good amount of space between the "squiggles", it's ripe! Enjoy!
By Pam T
When choosing a cantaloupe or mush melon as my Papaw used to say, search for one by sniffing the fruit. If it has a sweet, musky smell, it'll be a good fruit.
Thanks for that tip. I had no idea how to pick a good cantalope. I will give that method a try. I wonder if it's the same for choosing a watermelon?
By the way, I called my grandfather PaPaw too! My grandmother was MaMaw.
Hi Debbie, I recently posted on here, about choosing a good watermelon. I use the thumping method. I thump watermelons, actually several at a time, sometimes back and forth, trying to find one that sounds "hollow". This most usually works everytime for me. My husband is just amazed at my watermelon picking ability, LOL, he most certainly doesn't have it, LOL. So if a watermelon has to be chosen, in our household, it's me who purchases it!!
You mentioned that you call your grandparents "Mamaw & Papaw", too. I was born and raised in Western Kentucky.
Hello Badwater, thanks for the advice on watermelon picking. I don't buy whole ones that often because it's usually too much for my family but if the small round ones are on sale, I will try your method.
I was born in IN but my mother and her parents were from Centertown KY (near Owensboro).
MaMaw & PaPaw are gone now but they lived to a ripe old age (88 & 91). I had a grandmother till I was almost 50 years old which is probably unusual!
I love KY....we lived for a time in Florence (near Cincinnati)!
Smell the end of the cantaloupe. You should be able to smell the sweetness.
When choosing a cantaloupe I smell it on the stem end. If it smells like cantaloupe I know it's ready to eat. If selecting a cantaloupe that I want in a couple days I choose a nice firm one and then let it ripen in my pantry until it smells like a cantaloupe on the stem end.
In selecting a good cantaloupe, look for a good orange coloring under the lace of the skin and no soft spots on the ends.
My mother always told me to sniff the end of the melon where the stem was attached. If you can smell cantaloupe, it's ripe. The stronger the smell, the riper it is. This has worked for me every time.
Will cantaloupe ripen in fridge? I thought it was ready, but it wasn't completely ready. Just the inside edge about an inch was green. It was as big as a bowling ball. The last time we grew cantaloupe we left them too long on the plant and they exploded from the heat we have. I didn't want this to happen again.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By morbetomommy from KS
I would leave it out on the counter, not in the fridge.
I purchased a ripe cantaloupe and one not so ripe to cut later. I placed the not so ripe cantaloupe in a big brown paper bag and kept it in the house where it was cool. I cut it a week later and it was delicious and very sweet.
Putting it in the fridge will stop all growth and ripening. as she said below, leave it on the counter, it will start turning orange within a couple days.
You should hear a hollow sound when you slap the cantaloupe with the palm of your hand.
A produce man once told me "the stronger the cantaloup smell, the riper the melon". It's true.
I always make sure the cantaloupe has a yellow spot and I smell it. If it smells like a cantaloupe, then it's surely going to be a ripe one.