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Aug 17, 2009 10:59 AM

Suggestions for over ripe cantaloupe

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.

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

      1. A smoothie or make some cantaloupe margaritas!

        1. mixed drinks all the way

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

            11 Replies
            1. re: laliz


              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:

              1. re: maria lorraine

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

                1. re: thew

                  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

                    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

                      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                      Ortiz's understanding of sourdough (1997-2003) has been superceded by others.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:

                      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:

                      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:

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        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

                          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.

                2. re: maria lorraine

                  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

                    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

                      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.