“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents
Cantaloupes are named for the papal gardens of Cantaloupe, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown. Netted melons, popularly called cantaloupes by Americans, are actually musk melons. Commercial production of cantaloupe in the United States began in the mid-1800s. Today, cantaloupe are available in Florida from March through July.
This American variety features a raised, netted skin and sweet, orange flesh. Check the stem end for a smooth, clean indentation. A good melon is symmetrical, and the blossom end is soft enough to be depressed with slight pressure. Avoid overripe melons with lumps or soft spots.
Prepare the cantaloupe by slicing it in half and scraping out the seeds. The halves are often eaten with a spoon or peeled and cut into cubes. A typical shelf life for a whole melon is 10 to 14 days. Once the melon is cut it should be refrigerated.
Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. One quarter of a cantaloupe contains only 50 calories and provides the daily dosage of vitamins A and C, as well as being a good source of potassium.