The fruit that we call the cantaloupe is, in actuality, really a muskmelon.
Cantaloupes range in color from orange-yellow to salmon and have a soft and juicy texture with a sweet, musky aroma that emanates through the melon when it is ripe. Cantaloupes feature a hollow cavity that contains their seeds encased in a web of netting.
Cantaloupes are picked while still unripe; so, you can look to find a melon that is ripe. Tap the melon with the palm of your hand, to hear a hollow sound. Choose a melon that seems heavy for its size and one that does not have bruises or overly soft spots. Cantaloupe is so fragrant that you will be able to test for its aroma of ripeness even if you purchase already cut cantaloupe, packaged in a plastic container.
Since bacteria can grow on the surface of most melons, it is important to wash the outside of the cantaloupe before cutting into it. After washing, simply slice the melon into pieces of desired thickness and scoop out the seeds and netting. The soft flesh is eaten and the hard netted rind is discarded. Remember to refrigerate your sliced cantaloupe if you are not going to consume it immediately.
Cut fruit, if chilled, retains almost all its nutrients for at least 6 days.
Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of potassium and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 and folic acid.