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Few summer fruits are as refreshing as cantaloupe melons. When it comes to this variety of melon there is a lot to learn about this juicy and fragrant fruit. Not only is it delicious but it is extremely versatile in the kitchen.
Join Fine Dining Lovers as we discover some fun facts about cantaloupe melon along with sweet and savory recipes that will help you reap all the benefits it has to offer.
Did you know that cantaloupe was named after a castle in Italy? This succulent melon has been enjoyed in the Mediterranean since Roman times thanks to its transport from Asia, where melons originated.
Cantaloupe is a variety of muskmelon and in some countries the names are used interchangeably. Honeydew and Persian melon are other varieties that fall under the muskmelon species.
Image via Adolfo Calsin/Flickr
The season for cantaloupe melon runs from May to December. In the United States, cantaloupes are mainly produced in California, Texas and Arizona. In fact, California produces 75% of the nation's cantaloupes, according to California Cantaloupes.
According to Backyard Vegetable Gardening, the most common cantaloupe varieties available to gardeners are:
- Hales Best Jumbo (an heirloom variety)
- Honey Bun Hybrid
- Sweet N' Early Hybrid
- Hearts of Gold
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is a nutritious fruit rich in vitamins A and C, so it is a natural immune booster.
One cup of cantaloupe contains just 54 calories, no fat and a whopping 427mg of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain a healthy heart.
Cantaloupe is much more than just a hydrating fruit to enjoy on a hot summer day. The natural sweetness makes this melon the perfect foil to savory flavors, especially cured meats. To experience this delightful combo whip up this delicious salad of cantaloupe, Serrano ham and mozzarella.
Another savory option is to make a salad with cantalouple, cucumbers, mint and feta cheese. A superb side dish for grilled meats and seafood.
Naturally, cantaloupe is wonderful in beverages and desserts. A fun dessert worth giving a whirl is this sweet take on sushi: white chocolate maki rolls filled with melon cubes and coated in marzipan. Find the recipe here.
Another stunning dessert perfect for entertaining is this millefeuille filled with scooped melon balls and a sweet vanilla cream. Learn how to make it.
This melon sorbet is elegant and refreshing. It is prepared with cantaloupe, lemon juice, apple juice and Grand Marnier. Try the easy recipe.
Smoothies are an obvious choice for cantaloupes and the flavor combinations are endless. Among our favorites is a cantalouple-lime smoothie made with just four ingredient.
Storing Cantaloupe Melon
Cantaloupe melons should be washed under running water before cutting. Once cut, the melon should be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.
Discover more: Learn all about the bright yellow canary melon