How to select cantaloupe at the peak of ripeness

by reedalexander ; Updated September 28, 2017

Fresh fruits have the finest flavor and texture when at the peak of ripeness. Here is how to pick the perfect cantaloupe.

A sweet and tender cantaloupe is a perfect compliment to breakfast and a colorful addition to any fruit salad. There are many schools of thought on how to pick a ripe melon, but merely choosing by rind color or shape does not account for the many varieties of this fruit and may not guarantee success.

. To ensure that you pick the right melon choose one that has no soft spots and locate the stem end. You can determine the stem end by comparing both ends and choosing the one where the center spot is slightly indented, as though you pressed it in with your thumb.

Take a nice, deep smell of the stem end with your nose about 3 inches away. If the melon smells so good that you want to cut it open and sink a spoon into it, it is ready for you to take it home.


  • If it is early in the season, you may need to compare several melons to pick the ripest one of the bunch. If the smell isn't quite 'ready', let your melon sit on a kitchen towel (to keep it from bruising) on the counter for a day or two.