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How to Pick a Good Cantaloupe

As we get into the summer, somehow a sweet, juicy cantaloupe accents the best of summer. 

Cantaloupe grow extremely well in Weld and Larimer counties.  However, the most famous cantaloupe are grown in Rocky Ford.  Dubbed the “sweet melon capital of the world,” it’s the consistent high sugar content of those melons that Coloradoans have grown to love.

While most cantaloupe avearge 10 percent sugar content, many of the Rocky Ford cantaloupe averages 12 percent, and some as high as 16 percent sugar content.

How do you choose a cantaloupe?

This is the single question I am asked at least two dozen times at every day at our Denver Farmers’ Market.  I’ve seen people shake, poke, prod, squeeze, sniff and just about everything in-between.  The truth is, cantaloupe are one of the easiest melons to select because of it’s thin skin.  Depending on the variety, it should have a light tawny tan all over.  The cantaloupe should be slightly firm all over, but not super hard, nor mushy.

Once you’ve examined the texture and color, and the skin is firm, then smell the stem end from where it was picked.  It should have a sweet aroma.  If it doesn’t have a smell at all, it might not quite be ripe to eat, but will be in a couple of days. 

To enjoy your perfect cantaloupe, wash thoroughly, then cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds.