How to Tell If a Cantaloupe Is Ripe

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

As with other fruits that are hidden under their skin, it can be difficult to know whether or not a cantaloupe is ripe. Cantaloupes will not continue to ripen once you bring them home, so it is important to make sure that your cantaloupe is ripe before you leave the store. There are a few tips you can use to pick the right cantaloupe every time. Once you know what you are looking for, the task is a lot simpler.

Look at the Color and Texture

A ripe cantaloupe should be beige, creamy yellow, or golden. If it is green, it is not ripe. You should examine the texture of the skin. It should be webbed with raised ridges. Look for a yellowish patch on the cantaloupe because this is where it was resting when it was out in the field. This is also an indicator that it is ripe.

Make sure to look at the stem. It should be smooth, round, and indented a little bit. The stem should not be attached to the cantaloupe. If you see any stem on it, it was cut from the vine too soon.

Pick it up

When you spot a cantaloupe that has the right color and texture, you can pick it up. It should be firm, but it should not be rock hard. It should not have any spots that are mushy. This is a sign of being overripe and it will need to be thrown out. You should also press the blossom end, which is opposite to where the stem was. There should be a little bit of give.

In addition, it should feel heavier than it looks. Heavier cantaloupes are juicier. Finally, tap on it. You should hear a dull solid sound. If it sounds hollow, it isn’t ripe.

Smell the Cantaloupe

Finally, you can smell the cantaloupe. You want to smell the blossom end, which is opposite the end where the stem was. It should have a slightly sweet odor. If there is no smell, it is not ripe, and if it has a strong scent, it is probably overripe. You want a faintly sweet odor.

Choosing a ripe cantaloupe is important because cantaloupes will not continue to ripen. If it is unripe, it will be hard and somewhat sour. You need to follow the steps above to make sure that your cantaloupe is just right. Look out for cantaloupes that are overripe as well.

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