How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe

Do cantaloupes ripen on the counter?

Let a not-quite-ready cantaloupe ripen at room temperature for up to two days (keeping it in a closed paper bag will speed up the process). Refrigerate a whole ripe melon for up to five days.

What color is a ripe cantaloupe?

The Look – A ripe cantaloupe should have a beige webbing pattern. That netting should look like raised ridges. And underneath, the cantaloupe should either be cream-colored, sandy gold, yellow, or tan. If the rind is still green or grey, it’s not ripe enough.

Will cantaloupe ripen after cut up?

Can you ripen a cantaloupe after it has been cut? – No. After cutting into a cantaloupe, even if it is not as ripe as you desired, you need to put the cut cantaloupe into the refrigerator. A cantaloupe that has been cut into should never be left out on the counter in hopes of further ripening.

Does cantaloupe ripen faster in the fridge?

September 29, 2017 / 4:21 PM / CBS NEWS Getty Images Melons ripen and sweeten when left out of the fridge. Plus, the fridge can deplete the nutritional value in certain melons. Once cut open, you should refrigerate your melons. Honeydew, however, won’t ripen inside or outside of the fridge; it stops ripening once picked.

Will store bought cantaloupe ripen?

Unlike other fruits, cantaloupes will not ripen once picked from the vine.

Can you ripen an unripe cantaloupe?

Ripening Cantaloupe Off the Vine – If you are unable to harvest the cantaloupe from the vine and want to ripen it off the vine, then store the unripe cantaloupe in room temperature for about three days. Check on it daily until it begins to soften. Once it is ripe, you can enjoy your delicious cantaloupe right away. Cantaloupe Tips and Warnings:

Never store unripe fruit in plastic bags, as this can cause the fruit to spoil quickly. If you are buying a pre-ripe cantaloupe, make sure to check for any signs of spoilage before eating. Be aware that some pre-ripened cantaloupes may have an off taste or texture. Ripe cantaloupes should be eaten within two days of ripening. If your cantaloupe is overripe, it can be used to make delicious smoothies or pies. Do not use any chemicals to ripen your cantaloupes. This can cause them to become too soft and mushy. Be careful when handling the cantaloupe, as it may be slippery once ripe. Be sure to wash the cantaloupe before cutting into it.

What does an unripe cantaloupe look like?

2. The Look – If you’re not growing cantaloupes in your own backyard, not to worry! We have more tips for those of you who need to know how to tell if cantaloupe is ripe while perusing through the fruit department at grocery stores. The easiest indicator to assess is the cantaloupe’s look.

  • If the fruit’s rind is green, that means that it’s unripe.
  • A sweet and juicy cantaloupe will have a yellow, beige, or tan hue beneath its netted texture.
  • A small discoloration, however, is fine: that’s probably the side where the cantaloupe rested on the ground while it was still attached to the vine.

Next you should check the side of the cantaloupe where the stem would have been attached. It should have a little smooth depression. If, instead, the indent looks flat, then this is a sign that the cantaloupe might not be ripe yet. If you’ve already purchased the cantaloupe and cut it open, another indicator that you’ve made the right choice is if the fruit is a bright orange color.

What color is a good cantaloupe?

Cantaloupes should have well defined netting and have a light green to turning yellow rind color with bright orange flesh. No more than 12% should have defects that make cantaloupes unusable, and no more than 2% should be affected by decay.

Is it OK to eat green cantaloupe?

Precautions to Take With Cantaloupe: – If you suffer from cancer or any inflammatory condition or if you have undergone bowel surgery, you should monitor your fibre intake closely. People with type 2 diabetes should also have this fruit with caution and consult the doctor to know the right serving size of cantaloupe for them.

Should cantaloupe be refrigerated?

By guest contributor Angelica Day, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California Nobody wants their groceries to spoil, and one way to keep foods fresh is by storing them in the refrigerator. But did you know that many foods don’t need refrigeration, and that some are even best kept at room temperature? Here are some commonly refrigerated foods that can and should be kept on the counter or in a cupboard.

  • Just think of the beautiful fruit bowl displays you’ve been missing out on! Melon: Melons, including watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, should be kept at room temperature until you cut into them to ensure they have the best flavor.
  • Once they’ve been cut into, store them in the refrigerator and be sure to eat within four days.
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Before cutting and storing, wash the melon’s surface with water using a vegetable brush to remove any excess ground dirt. Melon can also be frozen in containers and blended for smoothies or added to iced desserts. Honey: Nobody wants hard honey! When chilled, honey solidifies and becomes difficult to add into foods or beverages.

It is perfectly safe to store it in the cupboard at room temperature. Apples and Avocados: Both of these fruits do well when kept on the counter or in a fruit bowl (just make sure they aren’t packed in too tightly for too long, or they may spoil). If you think it will be a while before you eat them and they’re getting too ripe, moving them to the refrigerator may keep them fresh for a few extra days.

Any unused avocado will stay fresher with refrigeration if the seed is kept in contact with the flesh of avocado. Store in an airtight container. To prevent cut apples from browning while refrigerated, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on the flesh of apples.

How do you sweeten an unripe cantaloupe?

Recipes: 3 ways to bring out the full flavor of cantaloupe In my childhood summers, I must have watched my mother joyously consume cantaloupe twice a week. She would cut the smallish orb in half through the equator and stow half in the fridge for later feasting; then grab a spoon and scoop out the seeds along with the membranes.

A dusting of salt crowned the surface. In her eyes it was tender-juicy bliss, only a naked rind was left for the chickens. Not everyone is a cantaloupe fan. Understood. Alone without any ingredient assistance, it can be a tad boring. To my way of thinking it needs the addition of something salty, or sweet, or spicy.

Sour works, too. Mom knew this with her casual sprinkling of salt atop the cantaloupe. After a trip abroad, she learned to add a salty element by serving it with prosciutto. Later in her life, following her doctor’s orders, she omitted the salt or prosciutto, and instead, drizzled her cherished melon with fresh lemon or lime juice.

  1. I’m sorry that mom didn’t know about Tajin, that spicy, lime-y seasoning.
  2. I think she would have appreciated its kick as well.
  3. Choose melons that feel heavy for their size and are free of bruises or cracks.
  4. Look for those in which the color between the webbing is mostly a light gold color.
  5. They are fragrant when ripe and the blossom end will generally give very slightly to pressure.

If unripe, ripen at room temperature (uncut) up to about 4 or 5 days. Or use the quicker brown-bag method: Set the cantaloupe in a paper bag. Add an ethylene-producing fruit such as an apple or banana. Roll the top of the bag over once. Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 1 to 3 days and check every day. Fire and Ice Cantaloupe features the melon spiked with spicy flavors from minced serrano chili. (Photo by Curt Norris)

How do you keep cantaloupe from ripening too fast?

Melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, are actually quite different from watermelon, as watermelon doesn’t ripen any further once picked from the vine (who knew!?). For this reason, watermelon should be stored in the refrigerator once you get it home. Consider this when you’re looking at those beautiful 10 lb. giants at the market!

Storing them in the fridge will keep the flesh from becoming dry, mealy, and fiberous. Once cut, make sure to cover the open sides with plastic or bees wax wrap to prevent the melon from absorbing flavors of other things in the fridge. Or whenever possible, cut up the entire melon and store in a reusable container to make it an easy snack to reach for. Whole watermelon can last in the fridge for up to a few weeks, but once cut, try to consume them within 3 days.

Other melons, such as cantalope and honeydew, can be left on the counter to ripen further.

A ripe melon will give a little when pressed on the stem end, and will produce a sweet smell from the blossom end. Note that melon, similar to other fruits, give off ethylene gas, so keep them away from other fruit to prevent rapid and over-ripening. Once ripe, store the melon in the fridge, or cut it open for eating! If you’re only able to cut up half, leave the seeds in the other half and cover it with plastic or bees wax wrap. Make sure to eat it up within a few days to get the freshest taste.

*If you’re having trouble using up your melon, or it doesn’t have a flavor or texture you love, consider making it into a refreshing drink: Agua Fresca / Melon Sa Malamig

What happens if you cut a cantaloupe too soon?

Download Article Download Article For the best flavor, make sure that cantaloupes ripen on the vine. You can ripen this melon off the vine for a few extra days to further improve the color, texture, and juiciness of the fruit, though.

  1. 1 Check the cantaloupe once the color changes. Never harvest a cantaloupe when the outer rind is still green, since these melons are undoubtedly unripe. Once the cantaloupe changes to a tan or yellow color, though, it is probably ripe.
    • Do not harvest the cantaloupe based solely on color, though. While a green cantaloupe is definitely unripe, a yellow or tan cantaloupe may not be quite ripe yet.
    • Even if the melon is not quite ripe, however, noting the color will give you an idea of whether or not the fruit is close to being ripe.
    • You must allow the cantaloupe to mature completely on the vine. Unlike other fruits, melons do not develop any sugars once they are harvested, so the cantaloupe will not become any sweeter after you remove it from the vine. The color and texture may change afterward, but the taste will not.
  2. 2 Look for a crack around the stem. The melon is usually ready to harvest when it is “full slip.” This means that there will be a small crack that completely encircles the stem where it is attached to the cantaloupe.
    • If you aren’t sure whether or not the crack is deep or complete enough, test it by applying pressure to the side of the stem. Place your thumb directly next to the stem and apply pressure to the side of the stem. You should only need to use a little force, and the stem should begin to separate easily.


  3. 3 Harvest the cantaloupe. As soon as the color is right and the crack around the stem is complete, the cantaloupe is ripe. It should be harvested right away.
    • Do not wait too long to harvest a ripe cantaloupe. If the melon falls off the vine on its own, it has likely become overripe, and both the taste and texture will be distorted as a result.
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  1. 1 Know what to expect. As noted earlier, the taste of the cantaloupe will not change when you ripen it off the vine since its flesh does not contain starches capable of converting to sugars. The texture, color, and juiciness of the fruit can improve, though, so this process is still beneficial if you have a freshly harvested mature melon or one that is only slightly unripe.
  2. 2 Place the melon in a brown paper bag. Use a brown paper bag that is large enough to fit the cantaloupe with a little extra room. The fruit should not be squeezed into the bag too tightly. Ideally, you should leave a little room for airflow inside the bag.
    • Make sure that you close the top of the bag when you are ready to let the melon begin ripening.
    • The closed paper bag traps the ethylene gas produced by the cantaloupe as it ripens. The production of ethylene gas increases in the presence of additional ethylene gas, so keeping the gas concentrated within the space of the bag speeds up the ripening process.
    • You need to use a paper bag instead of a plastic one. Paper bags are porous, so carbon dioxide can escape and oxygen can enter. Without at least this much airflow, the cantaloupe can begin to ferment.
  3. 3 Consider placing a banana or apple in the bag. If you place a ripe banana or ripe apple in the bag, even more ethylene gas will be produced inside the space of the bag, and the ripening process will speed up even more.
    • Bananas and apples produce notably high amounts of ethylene gas once they ripen, making them better options than most other fruits.
  4. 4 Leave the melon out at room temperature until ripe. Usually, the process will only take about two days, if not quicker.
    • Make sure that the place you store the melon is neither excessively cold or excessively hot. You should also avoid areas that are heavy in moisture or particularly drafty.
    • Check on the progress of the cantaloupe throughout the process to make sure that it has not ripened early.
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  1. 1 Check the stem end. If you purchased a cantaloupe instead of harvesting one from your own garden, first verify that no part of the actual stem is on the melon. If it is, you should give up on that cantaloupe now, since it suggests that the melon was harvested before it was able to fully mature on the vine. A cantaloupe like that will never ripen.
    • Also check the rind around the stem end of the cantaloupe. If there are any tears in the rind, those could also suggest that the fruit was picked too early.
    • Make sure that the stem end is slightly indented since this indicates that it was easily plucked off the vine. If the stem end protrudes, that could be another sign of a premature harvest.
    • You should also avoid cantaloupe when the stem end has notably soft, moist spots around it. That could suggest that the fruit is actually over-ripe.
  2. 2 Look at the netting on the skin. The rind should be covered with a thick, coarse netting that appears well-defined over the entire surface of the melon.
    • That netting can, however, stand out more easily on some areas than it does in others. Do not expect it to be perfectly uniform throughout.
  3. 3 Note the color. If you did not harvest the fruit yourself and are growing it from a second party, check the color of the rind before you make a purchase. The rind should be tinted gold, yellow, or tan.
    • A green-tinted rind indicates that the fruit is unripe.
  4. 4 Use your sense of touch. Gently press on the blossom end of the cantaloupe. When you do, it should yield slightly. If it feels hard, you should allow the melon to ripen at room temperature for another day or so.
    • On the other hand, if the cantaloupe yields too much or feels mushy, the fruit is likely over-ripe.
    • Similarly, you should pick up the melon as you check it over, as well. When ripe, the cantaloupe will feel heavy for its size.
  5. 5 Sniff the cantaloupe. Take a whiff of the fruit at its blossom end, rather than at the stem end. The “button” of the fruit should be just below your nose as you inhale, and you should be able to sense the familiar fragrance of a ripe cantaloupe when you breathe in.
    • If you cannot smell anything yet, try ripening the cantaloupe for another half a day or so.
    • If you are unfamiliar with the smell of a cantaloupe, simply sniff for a notably sweet scent.
    • The blossom end is where the softening begins and the aroma first develops, so the scent will be strongest and easily noticed there.
  6. 6 Finished.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can I ripen a melon after it is cut? I regularly have experienced my canteloupe getting sweeter and riper after cutting. I wasn’t expecting it, but, that’s what happened. Last time, I had gone so far as to cube it as well.
  • Question Does an unripe cantaloupe have to be put in a brown paper bag? No, but putting it in a brown paper bag should speed up the ripening process. Just wait until it smells sweet and the ends can be pressed in a little, then it’s ripe.
  • Question If an unripened cantaloupe has already been cut, is there any way to save it? Possibly. You may try the paper bag trick overnight, but do not expect a miracle.

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  • Once ripe, refrigerate an uncut cantaloupe for up to five days.
  • Ripe, cut pieces of cantaloupe should be covered and refrigerated for up to three days. Leave the seeds intact since they prevent the flesh from drying out prematurely.
  • Ripe, cubed cantaloupe should be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for one to two days.

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Cantaloupe will not ripen after it has been cut open, so if you cut open your melon and discover that it is still unripe, there is nothing you can do to salvage it. As such, you must be very certain that the cantaloupe is ripe before cutting into it.


  • Brown paper bag
  • Ripe banana or apple

Article Summary X To quickly ripen a cantaloupe, place it in a large brown paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. Roll the top of the paper bag to close it. Leave the bag out at room temperature for a few days, checking periodically to test the ripeness.

How do you know when a cantaloupe and honeydew is ripe?

How to Tell if a Honeydew is Ripe – These green-fleshed melons don’t slip from the vine or develop a strong aroma, so ripeness is a bit more difficult to detect. When ripe, the color of the rind should be a creamy yellow rather than green, and the rind will become smooth and waxy rather than dusky.

How long can you keep an uncut cantaloupe?

What’s more fun than bubbles? Especially if they’re chewy and sitting in a drink. Intrepid reporter Tim Carman recently set out to learn how to make his own bubble tea, and you can follow his progress — or lack thereof — right here, Also this week, meet the man whose “world’s best” lasagna recipe is the perennial chart-topper on, with millions of views since it was first posted 12 years ago.

Caitlin Dewey has the story. And Emily C. Horton introduces you to whole-diet CSAs : Instead of a basket of vegetables, these farms give you meat, dairy products, fruit, flours — almost enough to keep you out of the supermarket for good. Digest all that, and then join us for today’s Free Range chat. You know the drill: Show up here at noon, bring your questions and settle in for a fun hour of give-and-take.

Then next week, watch for another Chat Leftover. There’s bound to be one, because time has this annoying habit of running out. For example, here’s a leftover from last week’s chat : I just read that you can puree extra melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, etc.) to freeze for future use.

My question is, how long is melon “safe” in the fridge before I puree it? Is a week-old cantaloupe risky? If it looks fresh enough to eat — not soft, mush, watery or slimy — then it should be good to puree and freeze. But how long can you keep it before it reaches the yucky point of no return? That depends a lot on whether you’ve cut it up or not.

A whole, uncut cantaloupe or honeydew melon should last for seven to 10 days in the refrigerator. A whole, uncut watermelon is even sturdier: It should be good for two weeks. The picture gets somewhat bleaker once you’ve sliced into your fruit. The shelf life for the cantaloupe or honeydew shrinks to a mere three to four days, and so, interestingly, does the shelf life for the watermelon.

The National Watermelon Promotion Board, by the way, says the fridge is not the best place for a watermelon until you cut into it. The scoop: “Researchers have found that whole watermelons stored outside the fridge in a cool, dark place (around 55 or 60 degrees) last much longer than watermelons stored in the fridge (around 41 degrees).

So, if you’ve already got a whole watermelon in the fridge, you should keep it there. But if you’re storing it outside the fridge, put it in the fridge about three hours before you plan to eat it in order to cool it down to just the right temperature.” We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.