- European Cantaloupe
- North American Cantaloupe
- Asian Cantaloupe
- Japanese Cantaloupe
- Galia Cantaloupe
- Charentais Cantaloupe
- Crenshaw Melon
- Honeydew Melon
From the family of C. Melos, comes the cantaloupe, renowned for their orange flesh and green, netted skin. While originally the name was only used to define melons with bright orange flesh, and non-netted skin, cantaloupe was later expanded to include all melons with juicy flesh, and certain melons with hard-netted skin, too.
Cantaloupes, also known as muskmelons, sweet melons, and rockmelons, originally derive their name from the Italian papal residence of Cantalupo, where they were first grown in Europe after they were introduced from Armenia.
Cantaloupes are a summer fruit, characterized by their sweet sticky insides, and hard shell-like exteriors. However, their color, size, and weight vary according to their types and places of origin.
Since cantaloupe grow better in warm environments and soils, it is best to plant the seeds in summer. They require soil that is well-tilled, well-drained, and fertile, and should be planted in an area that gets at least eight hours of sunlight per day.
For cold environments, you can cover the soil to enable it to absorb and retain more warmth. Cantaloupe seeds should be directly planted in gardens because when the seeds are relocated, their roots tend to give up and the plant dies.
Cantaloupe are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and phosphorus. They can be made into smoothies, fruit salads, and even soups.
Though all cantaloupes and melons are available only during the summertime, there are different varieties and types of cantaloupes, and their growing times differ. Some of the common types of cantaloupes available are discussed below.
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Cantaloupe Nutritional Facts Chart
Cantaloupe Serving Size
According to the USDA, a serving size of cantaloupe can range from one cup (160g) to the whole melon. One cup is about 60 calories and the whole melon is around 200 calories.
Is There a Difference between Muskmelons and Cantaloupes?
Though the difference is very confusing and has constantly been blurred over the years, technically, yes, there is a difference between the two. While both terms are increasingly used alternatively, it should be clear that cantaloupes are a type of muskmelon.
All cantaloupes are muskmelons, but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes; muskmelons have a lot of other types. They are very closely related to cantaloupes and share many of their defining characteristics.
Let’s look at the major types of cantaloupes and further discuss how several different melons are related to cantaloupes.
Tuscan Melon vs. Regular Cantaloupe
A Tuscan melon is considered a cantaloupe originating in Italy. It is much sweeter than a regular cantaloupe while having an earthy and rich flavor.
The Tuscan melon is typically a little larger than a regular cantaloupe at three to five pounds. Both versions have orange flesh. It has a small inner section for seeds and a finer rind.
The outside of a Tuscan melon has the same light brown color as a regular cantaloupe but also has distinct green lines running from end to end.
Parts of a Cantaloupe
The average size of a cantaloupe ranges from about slightly more than four inches for a small cantaloupe to about six and a half inches for a large one. The average weight of a cantaloupe is three pounds.
The typical size will give you about four and a half cups of diced fruit.
Types of Cantaloupes
Classified and divided primarily on the basis of their origin, the several kinds of cantaloupes have slight variations in the color of their flesh, their tastes, their sizes, and the texture of their shells.
This is the real deal. Dubbed as the “true cantaloupe,” European cantaloupes, or Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis, are characterized by their gray-green and tough rinds. The rinds are slightly netted or, more often, not netted at all.
Their exteriors are smooth, light colors with green stripes and no spider-web-like crisscross patterns. Their flavors and smells are musky and sweet.
North American Cantaloupe
Some argue that the North American cantaloupe is not a cantaloupe at all; it is simply a type of muskmelon.
The North American cantaloupe (Cucumis Melo Reticulatus) distinguishes itself from the true cantaloupe by way of its rough, reticulated skin over a pale yellow shell. The rind isn’t quite as hard as that of the true Cantaloupe, but the flavors and odor are similar.
The raised netting becomes more pronounced as the fruit ripens and the rind transforms from a greenish shade to tan, while the flesh remains juicy, orange, and fragrant.
The Asian type isn’t as deeply netted as its North American counterpart, and its flesh isn’t as vibrant as the Western version. Instead, Asian cantaloupes (also Cucumis Melo Reticulatus) have pale orange flesh, more delicate flavors, and a subtle netting on a pale green or yellowish background.
The flesh has a crispy tinge to it, while the North American cantaloupe flesh is normally soft and pulpy.
The Japanese cantaloupe is often referred to as the crown melon and is renowned for its size. The Yubari King melon, as it is locally known, usually carries prices suited for royals, too.
Japan has an extensive gift culture, and fruits are generally considered luxury items — melons being the most expensive. Yubari melons are a common choice for gift-giving among the affluent.
The Yubari King is called so because it is only cultivated in Yubari, Japan. Each Yubari melon is grown with the utmost care and consideration. The process is extremely labor-extensive; the stem is pruned to the exact same lengths, the seeds pollinated manually, and the fruits massaged by hand. The Japanese cantaloupe isn’t only valued for its taste; it is quite the looker as well.
Japanese melons have an exceptionally smooth rind and a perfectly round shape. They carry pale yellow/orange flesh inside.
The Galia cantaloupe originates from Israel and is popular in Southeast Asia. Locally known as Sarda, the cantaloupe has a sweet, pale yellow or green flesh.
The scientific name of Galia is Cucumis Melo var. Reticulatus. A hybrid of a cantaloupe and a melon the fruit is often said to look like a cantaloupe from the outside but a honeydew melon from the inside.
Galia melons are juicy and have a wide variety of minerals, vitamins, and bio-flavonoids. They also contain low calories and no fats, making them a popular fruit to eat post-dinner.
Charentais Cantaloupe is the signature French melon, originating in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. Superior to its counterparts in terms of flavor, aroma, and texture, the charentais melon is smaller than most melons, averaging two pounds at maturity.
The exterior is smooth and a stony creamy-gray with faint green ribs and the flesh is bright salmon-orange and dense. The fruit is flavorful with high sugar content and extremely fragrant.
Biologically classified as Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis, they are often known as the French Cantaloupes. Though they originated in France, much of today’s production is grown in North Africa.
Relatives and Hybrids
The line between cantaloupes and melons is incredibly vague, and it is increasingly being blurred to the extent that the term cantaloupe now encompasses all fleshy melons with netted or un-netted rinds.
Scientists and botanists have tried cross-breeding one type with another to come up with better-quality hybrids of different types of cantaloupes and melons.
The hybrids are a culmination of the superior qualities of several varieties of cantaloupes and melons, like better resistance to diseases, stronger flavor, longer shelf-life, better texture, etc. The hybrids also have smaller seed space, packing the rest of the fruit with delectable flesh.
Some of the favorites among hybrids are listed below.
A hybrid of Casaba and Persian cantaloupes, Crenshaw melons are nicknamed the “Cadillac of Melons” because of the superior taste they pack. These super sweet cantaloupes resemble its parent melon, casaba, a lot. While Crenshaw may lack in fragrance, it has a better shelf-life and a better flavor than both of its parents.
It is pretty large in size, weighing about eight to 10 pounds each. It has a buttercup-yellow rind, with a waxy touch to it and textural striations running from one end to the next. Crenshaws also have peachy flesh, similar to cantaloupe’s, which is juicy and sweet to taste.
In fact, it is known to be one of the sweetest melons there is. Packed with vitamins A, B6, and C, it is a popular ingredient in fruit salads.
Grown in semi-arid conditions, honeydew melons are simply another name for the White Antibes cultivars in that have been grown for years in Algeria and France.
Honeydews are a very close relative of cantaloupes and belong to the same species, Cucumis Melo but they are different fruit. A sweet melon with a flesh that is reminiscent of cantaloupes, and an un-netted rind, honeydews are easily the most common melon around.
Honeydews are part of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family, which is divided into fruits (melons and cantaloupes) and vegetables (squashes, pumpkins and cucumbers).
It features an almost whitish-yellowish waxy shell with subtle green striations while the flesh inside is light green. Honeydews are from the inodorous group of melons, which means it has no distinctive smell of their own.
Honeydews have almost exactly the same nutritional value as that of a cantaloupe. They contain 90% water and are a good source of vitamin C.
Where to Buy Cantaloupe Seeds
Based in Massachusetts, Ferry-Morse has been selling cantaloupe seeds since 1856. Their easy-to-navigate search filter helps you find the type of cantaloupe seeds needed.
As a member of the Safe Seed Pledge that attests to selling only cantaloupe seeds that are only 100% non-GMO. The cantaloupe seeds they sell are Heirloom Sierra Gold, Hales Best jumbo and Hearts of Gold.
2. Park Seed
Park Seed started in 1918 in Pennsylvania and moved to South Carolina in 1924. They are one of the nation’s oldest and most extensive seed and mail-order plant companies. Park Seed ships various cantaloupe seed types across America.
Seeds shipped include Lilliput Hybrid, Park’s Whopper Hybrid Melon, and Ambrosia Hybrid Melon. Cantaloupe seeds are shipped meeting your USDA designated planting zone.
3. Eden Brothers
Shipping from their North Carolina location, Eden Brothers ships only non-GMO seeds. They are also signees of the Safe Seed Pledge to ensure quality non-GMO seeds. Their seeds are shipped with the highest quality and do not have any fillers or additives.
The Eden Brothers’ excellent seed quality delivers germination rates exceeding government standards. Eden Brothers sells over fourteen varieties of seeds for your needs. Some cantaloupe seeds shipped are Edisto 47, Honeydew Orange, Charentias and Honey Rock.
4. TrueLeaf Market
Founded in Utah in 1974, TrueLeaf Market ships various non-GMO cantaloupe seeds. TrueLeaf Market believes in establishing strong working relationships with both growers and customers.
TrueLeaf Market focuses on providing strong customer support and helpful online growing information. TrueLeaf Market sells cantaloupe seeds like Chreantias, Imperial, Edisto and Hearts of Gold.
5. Harris Seeds
Established in Rochester, New York in 1879, Harris Seeds ships seeds across the United States. A seed technician checks each lot of seeds in their in-house seed germination lab. Inspected seeds are maintained in a clean and secure seed facility before shipping. Harris Seeds is a NOFA-NY-certified organic seed vendor.
They are members of several seed groups, such as The American Seed Trade Association. Also, they belong to the Home Garden Seed Association and the National Garden Bureau. The various cantaloupe seeds they ship are Gold Crown F1, Astound F1, Atlantis F1, and Solstice F1.
Since its founding in Pennsylvania in 1876, Burpee has been a leader in the plant seed industry. Their slogan, “Burpee Seeds Grow,” tells the Burpee story. They developed new vegetable types, such as “iceberg lettuce.”
Burpee has always been at the forefront of seed technology. Their seeds include El Gordo Hybrid, Honey Bun Hybrid and Burpees Hybrid.
7. Victory Seed Company
Located in Texas, Victory Seed Company has hundreds of seed varieties to ship. These include desirable heirlooms and open-pollinated seed types.
Victory Seed Company gets the finest seeds from a select group of seed growing companies. They are then stored under ideal controlled storage conditions. When ready to ship, they are placed in their unique resealable bags.
Victory Seed Company works to sustain the preservation of open-pollinated varieties of seeds. Also included are family heirloom seeds to ensure their preservation. There is a real concern about the genetic life cycle of disappearing seed varieties.
They ship some varieties of cantaloupe seeds not found in grocery stores. These rare seeds include Schoon’s Hardshell, Minnesota Midget, Honey Rock, Banana, and Pike.
8. Seed Armory
The mission of Seed Armory is to create seed vaults for sustainable food. Seed Armory ships cantaloupe seeds in resealable mylar seed pouches. These special pouches are moisture-proof and have a shelf life of 10-plus years.
Also, they accept EBT and SNAP payments for their various products. But Seed Armory only carries one cantaloupe seed, Hales Best Jumbo. Seed Armory states that for every $1 spent on seeds and fertilizers, you can grow $25 worth of produce.
9. Home Depot
The United States’ largest home retailer, Home Depot, is a resource for many items for the home. These items also include cantaloupe seeds for the garden. All seeds, including cantaloupe, are certified non-GMO and ready for planting.
Home Depot maintains a vast inventory of various cantaloupe seeds. These seeds include Sarah’s Choice Hybrid, Hannah’s Choice Hybrid, and Sugar Cube Hybrid.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can cantaloupe last in the fridge?
A whole uncut cantaloupe can last between two and three weeks in the fridge. On the other hand, if you store a cut cantaloupe in the fridge, it can last for around three to four days.
When refrigerating a whole cantaloupe, put it in a sealed plastic bag so its aroma doesn’t flavor other foods.
For a cut cantaloupe, put it in an airtight airbag or a plastic container if it’s diced.
What to put on cantaloupe?
There are so many ways to have your cantaloupe. Consider making some cantaloupe puree during the hot summer days, then add lime juice and mint to the mix. You can also put cantaloupe cubes on skewers, then enjoy them with a yogurt dip.
When you want to enjoy cantaloupe with some seafood, you can add finely chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.
All this to say that cantaloupe is a versatile canvas for culinary creativity. You can also add cantaloupe to cocktails and smoothies to make them taste and feel fancier.
Does cantaloupe make you gassy?
Cantaloupe doesn’t make you gassy. In fact, it’s a good substitute for fruits like apples and pears, which are known to cause gas due to their high fructose levels. Besides, cantaloupe has high water content and provides fiber, which can help promote a healthy digestive tract.
Are cantaloupe and muskmelon the same?
Yes and no. Muskmelon is a melon species closely related to other plants in the gourd family, like zucchini and pumpkin. Then we have cantaloupe, which is a variety of muskmelon. That means all cantaloupes are muskmelons but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.
However, the two have similar nutritional content and health benefits.
Where to store cantaloupe?
The best place to store your cantaloupe depends on whether it’s ripe or not. If it’s unripe, leave it on the counter. It needs some warmth to ripen – and a couple of days. Once it’s ripe, you can leave it on the counter if you plan on eating it in the next couple of days.
If not, store it in the fridge using a resealable bag or plastic container.
Are cantaloupe leaves edible?
Unfortunately, cantaloupe leaves are not edible. But worry not because the cantaloupe itself is packed with so many nutrients for your body.
Does cantaloupe cause gout?
No – it does the opposite. It contains nutrients that help with gout prevention and relief. For instance, it is rich in fiber, potassium, choline, and vitamin C.
These nutrients help with blood pressure, which is important for gout patients. Cantaloupe also has high water content. Gout patients need to be constantly hydrated, making cantaloupe a good choice.
Does cantaloupe cause inflammation?
Cantaloupe does not cause inflammation. Since it contains choline, it can help in reducing chronic inflammation.
Can cantaloupe cause bloating?
Cantaloupe has a low sugar content, so you don’t have to worry about it causing bloating.
Can cantaloupe cause heartburn?
Cantaloupe is not among the foods that can trigger or cause acid reflux. It is a mildly acidic fruit with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5. So it’s among the best foods to eat when you want to alleviate acid reflux.
Can cantaloupe survive frost?
Cantaloupe is a warm-season annual plant. Therefore, it cannot survive frost (31-33 degrees Fahrenheit) at any growth stage. Yet it survives temperatures as high as 104 degrees F.
Can cantaloupe tolerate full sun?
Cantaloupes thrive in the sun. They need about eight to 10 hours of full sun to do well — so plant then in the sunniest spot you can think of.
Can cantaloupe survive winter?
Cantaloupe cannot survive the cold winter temperatures. If you’d like to start planting early, start the seeds indoors about six weeks before the projected last spring frost date.
Can cantaloupe self-pollinate?
Most cantaloupes can self-pollinate. Such plants are said to have perfect flowers — meaning the flowers have both male and female parts.
However, some flowers are not perfect, so they need external pollination. Bees are the most reliable pollinators, but sometimes you might have to do it by hand.
Can cantaloupe seeds go in the garbage disposal?
It is advisable to avoid putting cantaloupe seeds in the garbage disposal. Although they might not cause damage immediately, they can cause clogging long-term, reducing the line’s efficiency over time.
Can cantaloupe rinds go in the garbage disposal?
Cantaloupe rinds are destructive for garbage disposal. They tend to be too tough for the garbage disposal to break up.
That means the rinds can damage the impeller blades. To be safer, throw the rinds in the trash once you are done eating.
Can cantaloupe rinds be composted?
You can add cantaloupe rinds to your compost pile, and they usually take a couple of weeks or months to break down.
They release phosphorus into the compost, making a rich soil amendment. Since rinds are bulkier than other food wastes, cut them into two-inch pieces for faster decomposition.
Ensure that cantaloupe seeds don’t make it to the pile since they might not decompose. Therefore, they might grow where you didn’t intend them to.
Can you juice cantaloupe rind?
Cantaloupe rind is not edible. That means you can’t juice it, either. However, the sweetness of cantaloupe juice almost makes up for it.
Plus, you can still make good use of the rinds by adding them to the compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile, throw the rinds in the trash, and never the garbage disposal.