Cantaloupes are also commonly called Rock Melons, or even just Rockies. They’re available all year round, but are best eaten in late spring or early summer. Like other melons, cantaloupes are a member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family, meaning that they’re close relatives of pumpkins and cucumbers! Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, or in fruit salad, but is also delicious wrapped in prosciutto as a snack or canapé.
Cantaloupes contain a wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C.
Storage and handling
Proper food handling practices are important with cantaloupe, as Listeria can grow on the outside of the fruit and in turn cause food poisoning. To prevent this, always wash hands with hot soapy water before and after handling fresh cantaloupe. Wash unpeeled cantaloupe with cool tap water, scrubbing with a clean produce brush, immediately before peeling and slicing with a clean knife and chopping board.
Fresh cantaloupe should be refrigerated within two hours of peeling or cutting. Cut melon should be discarded if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, due to risk of food poisoning.