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When it comes to specialty fruits, cantaloupe may not be the first fruit brought to mind. But if you’ve never had cantaloupes from small, specialty farm partners like ours at FruitStand, you’re in for a whole new cantaloupe experience!
Super sweet, musky and soft, ripe cantaloupe is one of life’s great pleasures. Cantaloupe is a melon that’s incredibly versatile and a beloved ingredient in recipes around the world. From fruit salads to spiced chutneys, juice to aguas frescas, wrapped in prosciutto or covered in cream, cantaloupe is a fantastic canvas for culinary creativity. They can be prepared in both sweet and savory recipes, and in drinks for every age!
At FruitStand, we look forward to sending you a beautiful package of these extraordinary fruits from our small specialty farms partners. Keep reading to learn all about cantaloupe!
Cantaloupes are easy to slice in a few simple steps. For extra safety, always use a sharp chef’s knife and a heavy cutting board, secured with a wet towel underneath to keep the board stable.
- Cantaloupes have a thick, fibrous rind with soft, dense fruit on the inside. Start by slicing away ½ inch of the rind at the end of the melon where it was cut from the vine. Then, sit the cantaloupe upright on this flat surface. Starting at the top, slice away the rind in strips perpendicular to the cutting board. Cut all the way around the fruit, leaving no bitter rind on the flesh.
- Cut the cantaloupe in half from top to bottom. Set one half aside.
- Scoop away the seeds. Reserve them for roasting or discard them into the compost bin.
- Lay the long, flat surface of the melon on the cutting board, and cut the fruit into ½” or 1” slices. Serve as is, or with a squeeze of lime.
Cantaloupe is loved around the globe by people of all ages. These botanical berries can be eaten raw, grilled, candied, baked and frozen into flavorful snacks. Heat makes the natural sugars of cantaloupe even more pronounced, which is why so many varieties are used in grilling, roasting, baking and candy making.
- Grilling: This summer fruit is begging to be sliced, skewered and caramelized at the next barbeque. You can also grill thick slices of cantaloupe along with your peaches and plums for a special grilled fruit salad.
- Baking: Whether roasting seeds as a crunchy snack or the flesh for a melon compote, cantaloupe cooks into a sweet substance perfect for pies, pastries and more.
- Confection: The natural sweetness and complex cantaloupe is delicious in jams, jellies and candy making.
Cantaloupe makes drinks taste and feel fancier. They bring fresh, musky sweetness to juices, enhanced water, cocktails, batch drinks, smoothies and liqueurs. To make delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, use your cantaloupes to make a basic syrup, and stir into your everyday beverages. Here are some easy ways use cantaloupe in your drinks:
- Juicing: cantaloupe should be removed from the peel before juicing. Then, simply feed the pulp into your juicer for a musky, nectarous melon juice. Cantaloupe tastes great with pear, pineapple, berries like blueberry and strawberry, other melons like honeydew and watermelon, ginger, coconut and lime.
- Smoothies: Whether you have leftover cantaloupe or want to use a whole cantaloupe in smoothies, we recommend freezing it for best use. To prepare your cantaloupe for smoothies, slice the fruit into one inch chunks. Freeze them on a cookie sheet with space in between each piece. Once frozen, store them in an airtight container in the freezer. You can easily pop frozen cantaloupe cubes into smoothies!
- Water: Dice up or melon ball pieces of cantaloupe to add to your water bottle along with fresh herbs like basil or lemongrass for an eye catching and delicious refresher.
Cantaloupes have a generous shelf life and can be stored whole on the countertop for over a week to sweeten up. Those who live in warmer or more humid climates may find better cantaloupe storage success by keeping them in the fridge. Sliced and very ripe cantaloupes should be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
To freeze cantaloupe best, wait until they are fully ripened. Then, slice the cantaloupe and remove seeds and rind. Freeze sliced melon on a cookie sheet with space between each piece. Once frozen, store the fruit in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
If you’ve ever wondered where to buy fresh, specialty cantaloupe, we’ve got great news for you! FruitStand is proud to partner with small, specialty farmers to bring you exceptional quality cantaloupe. To be the first to know when FruitStand is shipping cantaloupe harvests, join our email newsletter!
Do you feel like a cantaloupe expert now? Show us your favorite ways to prepare and eat cantaloupe by tagging us in your culinary masterpieces on Instagram @Fruitstandcom!