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Suggestions for over ripe cantaloupe

f
Fiona Aug 17, 2009 10:59 AM

I have some cantloupe that is over ripe so the texture is grainy. I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to use it. I have thought of a cold soup or a smoothy with yogourt or ice cream. Any other thoughts? If anyone has particularly good recipes for the soup I would love to hear about them.
Thanks

  1. ipsedixit Aug 17, 2009 11:37 AM

    Try a cantaloupe bread.

    Use your favorite, or any basic, banana bread recipe and sub out the bananas for the cantaloupe. Puree the cantaloupe, and before adding it to the mixture drain off some of the excess liquids to prevent your bread from becoming too soggy.

    1. g
      gordeaux Aug 17, 2009 11:40 AM

      granita - or whatever it's called - kinda like sorbet - only easier.

      1. Phurstluv Aug 17, 2009 12:05 PM

        A smoothie or make some cantaloupe margaritas!

        1. thew Aug 17, 2009 12:24 PM

          mixed drinks all the way

          1. l
            laliz Aug 17, 2009 12:45 PM

            my use for overripe canteloupe would be to throw it in the garbage. Sorry.

            11 Replies
            1. re: laliz
              maria lorraine Aug 18, 2009 12:09 AM

              Yes.

              Throw it out. Don't eat it or drink it.
              Overripe means it's fermented because of bad bacteria and wild yeast.

              Read more here:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/327168

              1. re: maria lorraine
                thew Aug 18, 2009 07:07 AM

                the same wild yeast that makes lambics so delicious, and grandma's bread so yummy.

                1. re: thew
                  maria lorraine Aug 18, 2009 07:52 AM

                  Not really. The fermentation in cantaloupe is not a happy one, mainly because it is a combo of wild yeasts and bacteria. The bacteria, in particular, are those that cause very bad spoilage aromas and flavors in brewing and winemaking.

                  I'm no germ-a-phobe, and I also hate to lose or waste food, but this is an instance when throwing something out is required. You don't want this cantaloupe inside your body.

                  (hey thew)

                  1. re: maria lorraine
                    m
                    mollygirl Aug 20, 2009 01:37 PM

                    Joe Ortiz *relies* on these wild yeast spores and bacteria for his starter. Give him a read sometime, he's crazy for the stuff he can pull out of the air.

                    1. re: mollygirl
                      maria lorraine Aug 20, 2009 01:58 PM

                      From sourdough to cantaloupe...

                      Ortiz's understanding of sourdough (1997-2003) has been superceded by others. I love his books; it's just his microbiology is not correct. See the links below.

                      The most important points related to this are that the yeast and lactobacillii in a starter come mainly from the grain itself, and not the air.

                      Second, is that the fruit used in a starter does not provide the wild yeast and bacteria to get a starter going. In fact, the wild yeasts and bacteria that grow on fruit are not adapted to grow on grain.

                      There are hundreds, if not thousands, of yeast strains, lactobacilli and other bacteria in starters. Each fungus or bacterium is specifically adapted to grow on a particular thing. Grapes and other fruit have yeast and lactobacilli on them but they are specific to that individual fruit, just like certain lactobacilli are specific to yogurt. Other lactobacilli and microorganisms are specific to cheese.

                      "The particular varieties of yeast and lactobacilli [on grapes and other fruit] have never been recovered in any sourdough starter that has been examined from any place in the world."*

                      In the case of the over-ripe, fermenting cantaloupe, the bacteria and yeast are NOT ones good for you to eat. They are spoilage bacteria (acetobacter and others), lactobacilli and wild yeast. Together they ferment the fructose in the cantaloupe, but when all those beasties operate in tandem, they create off flavors, and a subsequently unhealthy foodstuff. So again, don't eat a fermenting cantaloupe. A mealy cantaloupe may be fine.

                      When beginning a bread starter, it's important to use lactobacilli and yeasts that are *already* adapted to growing on grain. Rye grain and rye flour are the best -- even if making whole-wheat or white bread -- because rye already has the greatest quantity of the specific lactobacilli and yeast that you want in a starter. The fruit -- grapes, pineapple, etc.-- provide a fermentable sugar, so the starter really takes off. The fruit also provides acidity to create an environment that is inhospitable to the nasty "yeasty beasties" you don't want.

                      *Read more here:
                      http://www.faqs.org/faqs/food/sourdough/faq/preamble.html

                      If you're interested, here is more info on starter microbiology that supercedes Ortiz:
                      Some studies written by Michael Gänzle in 2007 on Darrell Greenwood’s great sourdough bread site to which Dan Wing and Michael Gänzle have contributed:
                      http://www.faqs.org/faqs/food/sourdough/faq/preamble.html

                      Here's a bunch of stuff by Debra Wink, who's been the co-author on a number of scientific sourdough articles. She oversees a great bread baking website:
                      http://www.thefreshloaf.com/

                      1. re: maria lorraine
                        n
                        nanknob Aug 28, 2009 08:37 PM

                        maria lorraine.
                        Would you be able to tell me how to tell if it is at the fermenting stage. I home grew cantaloupe for the first time. It seems to be very hard to judge when to pick. Either under ripe or way overripe and dripping with juices. I cut it up and put it in the freezer for a later time. But now that I keep reading very conflicting advice, I'm not sure what to do.

                        1. re: nanknob
                          maria lorraine Sep 2, 2009 12:30 AM

                          I'd ask cantaloupe growers when they pick, and what they look for.

                          When I purchase them from the farmer's market or grocer I look for a raised straw-colored "netting" on the outside, flesh (not green) colored sking below the "netting," cantaloupe aromatics, and an ability to push the non-stem end in slightly.

                          1. re: maria lorraine
                            thew Sep 2, 2009 05:41 AM

                            whose flesh?

                2. re: maria lorraine
                  greygarious Aug 18, 2009 07:58 AM

                  I live alone, so it's hard to consume a whole canteloupe or honeydew before it starts to ferment a bit. I have on COUNTLESS occasions eaten melon that has started to percolate in the refrigerator, with absolutely no adverse consequences.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    maria lorraine Aug 18, 2009 08:02 AM

                    Glad you didn't felt no ill effects. It's just not a good idea to consume it, though, as *spoilage* bacteria are causing the fermentation and the telltale aromas that are present.

                    1. re: maria lorraine
                      maria lorraine Aug 18, 2009 10:21 AM

                      But of course all this depends on the degree of fermentation and spoilage.
                      Only you can determine that. But for me -- and I'm an adventurous eater,
                      who also knows about spoilage fermentations -- I'd toss without question.

              2. greygarious Aug 17, 2009 01:12 PM

                Blender with yogurt and sweetener, or sweetened condensed milk, and freeze as popsicles. If theree's not enough fruitiness for you, blend in some jam or preserves as well.

                1. h
                  HillJ Aug 17, 2009 07:59 PM

                  Ice cream

                  1. fmed Aug 17, 2009 11:13 PM

                    Cantaloupe "Lemonade" - make it like a lemonade: grate the melon into water, shredded mint leaves, sugar, lemon juice and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. Strain (discard the solids), add ice and serve.

                    I make this all the time as our family always eats half a melon and fridges the rest - then forgets about it until it is too mealy to eat.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: fmed
                      Phurstluv Aug 18, 2009 12:28 PM

                      That sounds yummy, fmed, I may have to try that with my overripe 1/2 of a Galia melon. And add some vodka, for me, of course!!

                      1. re: fmed
                        f
                        Fiona Aug 20, 2009 01:18 PM

                        I will definately try this. The melon is grainy but not fermenting at all.

                      2. f
                        Fiona Aug 21, 2009 04:51 AM

                        thanks for the suggestions. I woulnd up making a chilled soup with pureed melon, orange juice, garam masala, a serrano pepper, fresh basil and a dash of half and half. It was good and a refreshing starter on an awful, hot humid day. My daughter (an adult) put a little of the soup in a glass and threw in some gin - that was good too! I will definately make the lemonade next.
                        Thanks again

                        1. c
                          cheesecake17 Aug 21, 2009 08:23 AM

                          Smittenkitchen has a great recipe for melon agua fresca. It calls for pureeing, then straining the melon, so you won't have any of that grainy texture.

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