How to Pick the Perfect Cantaloupe


If you’re a big fan of those sweet and juicy summer treats known as cantaloupe, you may need a little help when it comes to picking out the perfect one.

Choosing the perfect cantaloupe means you can enjoy this delicious fruit at its best instead of when it is too ripe and mushy, or not quite ripe and tough.

Check out these tips to help ensure that the cantaloupe you go home with is the perfect one for your summer dessert.

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Tips for Picking the Perfect Cantaloupe

Why Cantaloupe?

As if the pure deliciousness of cantaloupe isn’t enough reason to love this little melon, there are a few more reasons to include cantaloupe in your diet. Cantaloupe is packed full of good stuff like Vitamins A and C and did we mention they are quite tasty?

On the Vine


If you’re growing your own cantaloupe, you can know its ready when it falls off the vine. You should be able to turn the melon and if it’s ready to be picked, it will easily separate from the vine.

Picking Out a Picked Cantaloupe

sliced cantaloupe

If you’re browsing melons at the grocery store or the farmer’s market, keep in mind a few important things about that cantaloupe you are looking at.

  • Check the color of the cantaloupe. Yep, color matters when it comes to a ripe cantaloupe. You want a melon that is light in color and not too green. Beige is the way to go when it comes to cantaloupe.
  • Check the blossom end to see if it’s soft. The blossom end is the rounded indention where the bloom started. You want to press it gently with your thumbs to see if it’s soft. It shouldn’t be but it should have just a little bit of give when you press it.
  • Take a sniff. How does the cantaloupe smell? A ripe (and perfect) cantaloupe should smell sweet and cantaloupe-y. If the cantaloupe has a very strong smell, then it might just be a little too ripe and that’s definitely not the one you want.

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Ultimately, you may just have to take your chances by using these tips. The only way you can know for sure if it’s a good cantaloupe, a perfect cantaloupe, or one that just needs to be pitched is to cut it open and check it out. You can’t make a judgment on the taste until you actually try it out and a good-looking melon that has just the right firmness and a great smell may just not taste too great.

If you love to enjoy these sweet garden fruits during their peak season (June through September), practice these tips to help you pick out a ripe perfect cantaloupe. Get to know what qualities a good fruit has and crack one open. When you find that perfect cantaloupe, be sure to enjoy every last orange bit of it!

Do you have any other tips for picking out a perfect cantaloupe? How about some ideas on what do do with it once picked? Share in the comments!


27 thoughts on “How to Pick the Perfect Cantaloupe”

  1. Check the color of the cantaloupe. Yep, color matters when it comes to a ripe cantaloupe. You want a melon that is light in color and not too green. Beige is the way to go when it comes to cantaloupe.

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  3. i have heard some of the best cantaloupes come from an area north of Danville, Virginia called Turberville. My Mom tells me every year when they come in so I can get them and they are good. Thanks for the tips. I am from Greensboro also.

  4. I shake them and if I hear the seeds rattling around it is usually a great melon. People at the grocery store always look at me like I’m crazy but it works.

  5. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    This is so good to know. I am going to be so well informed the next time I go grocery shopping!

    1. Daddy grew the best canteloupe! This farmer’s daughter no longer has daddy on this earth but I choose this melon the belly button way: the stem end-you want an “innie” which shows you it fell off the vibe when ripe. An “outtie” (stem still there in any amount) means it was arbitrarily picked to go to market, and probably isn’t as ripe and flavorful. The depressed “innie” should smell fragrant, but if a store has chilled them the lovely smell will not be prominent. There should be no mold on the “innie”. If it is really ripe it will sound sorta hollow and you can feel the juice and seeds shaking around sometimes. Mmm.

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