Choosing a Great Cantaloupe

You’ve probably heard it said that to get a great melon you need to “choose one that feels heavy for its size.”  But what exactly does that mean and how the heck do you tell?

cantaloupe (1)Do you ever pick two of them up, balance one in each hand, and try to “just tell” which one is heavier? I have. And to be honest I really can’t seem to tell the difference. Of course I don’t let on that I can’t tell. I just pretend that I know what I’m doing and put one back, hoping that I made the right choice.

Well, I just read of an AMAZING way to determine which is the better cantaloupe.

But first you need to narrow down your choices. So put your nose to the rind and smell. A good ripe cantaloupe will have a  characteristic aromatic smell. Then look to see if has a smooth, rounded stem scar, it should yield slightly to pressure on the blossom end (opposite of the stem scar), and have a yellow background under raised well-developed netting. If one side of the melon looks blemished, it is probably the “ground spot,” the point where the melon rested against the ground. This is perfectly natural and the whole melon is fine to eat.

But here’s the AMAZING NEW TRICK:

After you’ve looked, sniffed, and touched your cantaloupes and you have two final contestants, you need to heed that “choose one that feels heavy for its size” advice.  No need to guess.

Ready for this….Just walk over to the scale and weight them. DUH! I can’t believe I never thought to actually weigh them. No more juggling them in your hands.

And the results really can be surprising.

You can have two melons that are the exact same size and one might weigh almost a half-pound less than the other! Every time, the heavier one is ripe and sweet when I take it home and slice it open.

So weighing your melons is by far the best way to pick a good melon.


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