Are you wondering when is cantaloupe season to have them in the best way? The sweet taste and tenderness of cantaloupe make many people love it. But the problem is they don’t know when and where to have a good ripe one.
Suppose you’re a fan of this seasonal melon and struggling with the same question, don’t worry! I got you covered! Keep reading for information that surely will delight you.
Maybe You’ve Missed These Facts About Cantaloupe
Nothing can beat a juicy and refreshing melon snack on hot days, isn’t it? Cantaloupe is famous not only for its tenderness and sweet flavor – which makes it among the best fruit to add to your list of dishes to have for summer breakfast – but also for the nutrients that it contains.
Nutrition Value Of Cantaloupe
The delicious flesh of the cantaloupe has a significant level of vitamin C, B9, and K. But it’s mostly famous for containing an outstanding amount of beta-carotene.
This nourishment will be transformed into vitamin A in the digestion process, and act as an antioxidant as well to help you against aging (1).
In addition, since cantaloupe’s taste tends to be extremely sweet, you might not expect it in your diet if you want to lose weight. However, you might be surprised knowing that cantaloupe is among the best low glycemic fruits for weight loss progress.
Different Types Of Cantaloupe
You might notice that there are many types of cantaloupe. If you’re perceptive enough, you’ll even notice different cantaloupes have different sizes. The European cantaloupe has a beige webbed skin with green-ish lines along; it also feels harder in touch and sweeter in the taste.
On the other hand, U.S cantaloupe has pale-green netted skin, less fragrant flavor, and is more tender to enjoy. For the remainder of this article, you can assume that I’m referring to the U.S version of cantaloupe.
Check out why you should add cantaloupe to your diet.
Why Should You Buy Cantaloupe In Its Peak Season?
Nowadays, cantaloupe and other varieties of the muskmelon family are available in supermarkets all year round. Despite the differences between muskmelons and cantaloupes, them being seasonal fruits mean that you should purchase them during their seasons.
Firstly, fresh cantaloupe is highly affordable in its season. You can easily spot a ripe one at your local fruit store or market at a much lower price in comparison to when it’s off-season.
Secondly, these in-season cantaloupes are naturally ripened on their vines so that they’ll be sweeter and the ripeness is more evenly. Lastly, buy cantaloupe in its season, and you will get not only a better taste but also better nutrients.
Therefore, it’s best to know about the season of cantaloupe so that you won’t miss the best chance to enjoy it. Let’s skip the chatting and get right into the answers!
The Best Time To Purchase Cantaloupes
The season of cantaloupe often lasts from 4 to 6 months, during summer and fall. However, cantaloupe can peak sooner or last longer depending on the local where it’s grown. So along with time, you should also mind the cantaloupe states as well.
In the U.S, though cantaloupe can be planted everywhere, most of the commercial ones are provided by California since this state has the highest crop in the nation, followed by Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
|California (2)||April to December||May to October|
|Arizona (3)||May to November||June to October|
|Georgia (4)||May to October||June to August|
|Florida (5)||April to June||May|
|Texas||June to November||July to October|
|Virginia (6)||May to October||June to August|
|Pennsylvania (7)||July to September||August|
|Average||May to November||June to August|
Depending on the state, it can be sooner or later, but most cantaloupes mature around May till November and at their peak season from June to August. Cantaloupe requires warm weather for the best yield; therefore, you’ll notice that the top states are closer to the south.
California has the highest cantaloupe crop in the region, often taking over half the output. It appears that the ripe ones are available first here, and you can even find delicious cantaloupe in early December.
The peak season also lasts the longest here. However, cantaloupe should be harvested during summer so that you can enjoy it as a snack during the hot days; and added to your repertoire of fall accompanying foods or dessert. Whatever your choice is, you won’t regret it.
You can also use your favorite specialized blender for making green smoothies to whip up refreshing drinks and battle the summer heat. Or grab an easy-to-follow juicing book to see if you can make rejuvenating cantaloupe juice, it’s a great idea as well.
The four states that follow California’s cantaloupe output tend to have a shorter season in order, and the peak seasons do not last long as well. Arizona is in second place with half output in comparison to California, lasts its cantaloupe season from May to November.
Lying in the middle north of the nation, Texas claimed third place in cantaloupe output and long-lasting season – from June to November. The remaining states on the table tend to gather on the east coast.
Georgia is in the next place with the first mature cantaloupes in May and ends the season in October.
Florida is an extraordinary case since its cantaloupe season only lasts from April to June, with only one month of the peak, but its output claims the fifth place of the region’s crop.
The last two states that I’ve added to the summary table are closer to the north. Thereby, cantaloupe seems to only be available in the summer. Yet these states also provided a huge number of crops so that you can enjoy your summer time there with delicious cantaloupes.
How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is At Its Best Stage?
Whether you’re purchasing cantaloupes in their peak season or off-season, the most important thing is knowing how to gauge cantaloupes’ ripeness and freshness. Get one of these two factors wrong, and your melon might not taste as good.
The unripened ones tend to be less sweet or fragrant, and their flesh also feels a bit crunchy. In contrast, the overripe cantaloupes are mushy and come with an overwhelming smell. Here are some signs that show you’re picking a good cantaloupe.
You can identify whether the cantaloupe is ripe before or after being harvested by checking its stem. Ones that ripened after harvesting will retain their stem protrude.
On the other hand, cantaloupes naturally that ripen on the vine will detach themselves from the stem. You’ll notice a slightly indented scar at the end area of the melon – and these cantaloupes taste way better.
There said you can still purchase cantaloupes with stems remnant. However, if the stem is particularly woody, it’s telling that the melon was cut from the vine too soon and should not be purchased.
The right tone of the skin should be somewhere between beige and green. With the cantaloupe that is completely green, you can also bring it home and let it sit on the counter to ripen. However, the color that cantaloupe has should be even.
Avoid buying those cantaloupes with tears or holes since cantaloupe is often planted on the ground, these holes can be a perfect house for bacteria and dirt to stay.
Cantaloupes are also very vulnerable to humidity. Therefore, you should not purchase ones with strange or mushy spots. These spots are the sign that the cantaloupe is beginning to mold.
Heavy And Have A Deep Sound
The unripened cantaloupe is quite lighter, while the ripe ones tend to be heavier than their appearance. You can pick up one and give it a good tap or knock.
The cantaloupes with the right ripeness should sound deep, while the unripened ones sound hollow on the inside but quite hard on the rind.
The ripe cantaloupes will expose a fragrant aroma that easily identifies. In case you’re facing a bunch of cantaloupes, you can pick one and gently press on its stem to check the ripeness.
If it releases an overwhelming scent, you can tell that it’s an overripe cantaloupe. On the other hand, the unripened cantaloupe tested by this method will give a veggie, pungent smell.
See how to check the ripeness of cantaloupe so you can pick a good one.
Keeping The Cantaloupe’s Freshness
After being cut from the vine, cantaloupes will keep ripening themselves until they’ve finally gone bad. To extend the maximum time cantaloupes can stay fresh, it’s crucial to store them in the right way.
- Many choose to purchase an unripe cantaloupe and enjoy it for a few days later. If you want to do so, avoiding direct sunlight and humidity is a must. In case you want to reduce the ripening time, you can place your cantaloupe nearby ripe apples or bananas.
- Ripe cantaloupes can sit on the counter for 4 to 5 days in good conditions. However, I recommend storing them in a fridge to maintain the best freshness, and you’ll always have cool cantaloupes to enjoy.
- Even with the best way to cut cantaloupes, these will go bad quickly after 2 hours in room temperatures. Wrap them tightly in plastic and put them in the fridge as well if you don’t have an immediate plan to enjoy them. Cantaloupe storing in this way can last up to 5 days.
- Frozen cantaloupe can be used within one year. However, you might want to peel them first since you won’t be able to peel an ice-like cantaloupe, and it’s never recommended to thaw frozen melons. Instead, you can enjoy them like a popsicle – which I’ll cover further below.
Some Fantastic Ways With Cantaloupe
Isn’t the main reason you’re here is to enjoy the wonderful cantaloupe? I agree that just slicing is enough to enjoy a fresh-cool cantaloupe, but you might need some more interesting way to serve it.
Suppose you’re a fan of melon; why don’t you try out to make a melon balls salad? Use a watermelon scooper to scoop out cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew to make a juicy and refreshing bowl for hot summer days.
You can utilize these melons’ rind as a bowl to carry the balls and top with some mints. There you have a perfect snack for summer that no one can refuse.
If you want to use cantaloupe as an appetizer, the perfect way is to combine it with prosciutto – a type of Italian dry-cured ham and is often seen in many iconic Italian dishes. The sweet taste and aroma of cantaloupe are surprisingly going along well with salty prosciutto. Try it
Try out the combination of sweet cantaloupe with salty prosciutto for an appetizer.
Suppose you have a blender in your home; you can always make a purée for your babies; they are going to love the sweet taste of cantaloupe purée. You can also add oat cereals if you want a cup of purée that is full of nutrients. Smoothies must be everyone’s favorite drink during the summer days. Feel free to create your own recipes with cantaloupe; my favorite combination is peaches.
Check out an easy way to cut your cantaloupe and make a purée.
As mentioned above, this is a perfect method to have fresh cantaloupe all year round. You can peel and slice cantaloupe first, then put them in a freezer for at least 4 hours, and there you have delicious cantaloupe popsicles.
In advance, you can blend them before freezing with some cream or cream-free milk for a better taste. Otherwise, you can blend them after freezing to make smoothies, there are so many ways to enjoy frozen cantaloupe, totally up to your choice.
The above information has given you knowledge about cantaloupe’s season as well as how to enjoy and store them. If you need some more facts about this delicious seasonal fruit, here are some of the most asked questions.
Take You Chance When The Season Comes
Now that you know the peak season of cantaloupe in each area, it’s best to take your chance when it has come. Though you can have cantaloupe year-round, take advantage of the best price and ripeness.
If this article helped you out, share it with your family and friends so they won’t miss the season and enjoy the benefits of cantaloupe.
What are your experiences and feelings with this incredible fruit? Let me and other cantaloupe fans know in the comment section! I assume that you might have some delicious recipes or helpful tips to share!
- Healthline. 2022. Benefits of Cantaloupe: 7 Healthy Advantages.
- Serving Agriculture Since 1907. 2022.
- Agriculture.az.gov. 2022.
- Georgia Grown. 2022. Cantaloupes | Georgia Grown.
- Fdacs.gov. 2022. Florida Crops in Season.
- Vdacs.virginia.gov. 2022.
- Farmtotablepa.com. 2022.
Table of Contents
- Maybe You’ve Missed These Facts About Cantaloupe
- Why Should You Buy Cantaloupe In Its Peak Season?
- The Best Time To Purchase Cantaloupes
- How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is At Its Best Stage?
- Keeping The Cantaloupe’s Freshness
- Some Fantastic Ways With Cantaloupe
- Take You Chance When The Season Comes