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Jul 12, 2010 08:41 AM

Wishing for Good Cantaloupe

When I lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I bought the best cantaloupes from a local farm. It didn't matter which one I selected. It was always ripe, juicy, and delectable. I haven't had anything like those melons in years. I look for every positive indication,--attractive fragrance, some give at the blossom end, creamy/orangey color--and I still almost always wind up with a dud. Overripe, underripe, mushy, flavorless--you name it, and I've taken it home. I'm at the point where I'm just not willing to buy cantaloupe anymore, no matter how attractive the displays are at the farm stands and farmers markets. Are any of you having better luck?

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  1. Just last week, I started getting some good ones. A definite step up in flavor since I was duped into buying a few in June because of a very attractive price. The few I bought in June were sweet, but had zero flavor.

    My secret - the smell test, and the "give" test.
    But my number one secret -don't even start thinking about trying them until July.
    Hope your luck changes!

    3 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      I have had better luck with watermelons, but I'm craving a tasty cantaloupe. Maybe I'll give it another shot, now that 'lopes are in moving into "high season."

      1. re: cheesemaestro

        I have found that the cantaloupes with dark green bands as part of the rind have the most flavor. The flavor gets even better as the dark green fades.

      2. re: gordeaux

        Agree on the sniff test. If it doesn't smell like a good melon, it will never taste like one.

      3. i've only had good luck with honeydew and persian (hami) melon as of late... the latter i've had some really good stuff though!

        1. I've had two delicious and really juicy cantalopes from a farm stand in Burlington County, NJ , just last week. Really some of the best I've ever had. I'll admit to not knowing which ones to pick. These two smeled great and had a little give. But frankly, I think it's just that time of year and the fact that the cantalopes were just picked that day.

          1. Yes always. Cantaloupe is not alone. I'm tired of good looking tasteless fruit.... and tomatoes too! If you see Tuscan melons try those. About the same size and color of a cantaloupe but a little ribbed like a pumpkin or acorn squash and the rib is greenish. Tastes like a canatloupe used to. I've never had a bad one of those, but I probably just jinxed it by saying so!

            1. Situation is very bad in Chicago with farmers' markets only marginally better than supermarket. However, all cantaloupes seem to improve if you put them in a brown paper grocery bag, clip the top shut, and leave them for a few days. They do become more mellow. This method also works with papayas and bananas, plus it keeps the smell out of your house.