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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
Smell the end of the cantaloupe. You should be able to smell the sweetness.
By Ellen from Holden, MO
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.
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.
Source: I learned this as a farm girl growing up in South Dakota.
By Judy from Aurora, MN
In selecting a good cantaloupe, look for a good orange coloring under the lace of the skin and no soft spots on the ends.
By Carol from Hamilton, MT
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.
Source: I learned this from my mom, an old farm girl!
By Sandy from Memphis, TN
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.
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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.
I thought they should be left out also. When I worked in a cafe I asked the produce delivery man if they would ripen in the fridge. He said they do. I still don't really know as I and my dog eat mine to fast to find out.