How to know if a cantaloupe is ripe? (7 ways to tell)

In this article, we will share how to Identify a perfectly ripe cantaloupe, how to store it to extend its shelf life, and what benefits cantaloupe provides our body.

How to know if a cantaloupe is ripe?

There are a variety of ways you can tell If the cantaloupe under your inspection is ripe and juicy enough to bring back home or not. All these sensory evaluations can be performed easily while at the grocery store. And they make sure that the cantaloupe you invest your money on is of prime quality.

How to buy the perfectly ripe cantaloupe?

Following ways help you identify the perfectly ripe and tender cantaloupe:

  1. Rind color and pattern

A ripe cantaloupe should have beige-colored criss-cross patterns on its rind. The fruit pulp should be pale yellow. A green rind is an indication of unripeness.

  1. Smell

If you smell the blossom end of the cantaloupe, and It gives off a pleasant musky and sweet smell then It is a sweet cantaloupe. If the odor is very weak, it means the cantaloupe is still unripe and If the odor is pungent like alcohol or a ketone then the cantaloupe is degrading.

  1. Weight

A ripe cantaloupe should feel heavy.

  1. Blossom end

The blossom end is the opposite side of the where the stem was attached to the fruit. If you press gently at this end and the fruit yields a little, It means the fruit is ripe.

  1. Firmness

The cantaloupe should feel tough but neither too stiff nor too soft.

  1. Sound

A ripe cantaloupe should give a low and a deep sound upon shaking. You can hear the seeds clattering inside a ripe cantaloupe.

  1. Stem

A ripe cantaloupe should have a smooth and circular depression at the site where the stem was attached previously.

When is the perfect time to harvest cantaloupe?

The fruit matures somewhere between 70-100 days after sowing the cantaloupe seed. When the fruit is ready to pluck, it turns from a green to a yellowish hue between the webbing on its rind and the rind feels soft. The stem also turns brown and weak and leaves a slight dent where the fruit falls off from the vine. 

How to harvest cantaloupe?

A mature cantaloupe will easily break off from its stem with a slight twist. If there is difficulty in plucking it from the wine, avoid pulling the fruit from the steam. Instead severe it at the steam to avoid a low-quality fruit.

Storage practices and shelf life of cantaloupe

Whole ripe cantaloupes can last 5 days at room temperature. But If you want to extend its shelf life, put it in the fridge and It will stay fresh for 7 or more days.

Sliced/cut cantaloupe will not remain edible If kept in the open air past 2 hours. However, If you don’t have to immediately eat it, you can always out the slices in an airtight container or wrap them in a cling film and after squeezing out all air.

In the fridge, the slices will last about 2 to 3 days. After that, the fruit will lose its juiciness and becomes too dried out. Make sure the temperature of your fridge is constant and does not suffer extreme fluctuations.

Do not wash your cantaloupe if you are not immediately going to consume it because this will soften the rind and accelerates the fungal growth.

When keeping the fridge, do not remove seeds from the fruit, they act to lock the moisture and prevent the fruit from drying out faster.

Heath benefits

Cantaloupe is a rich source of Beta carotene and Ascorbic acid. Beta carotene contributes to a strong immune system and healthy eyes and bones. It is about 90 percent water and low in calories that makes it an extremely good choice for people who want to lose weight.

It also provides a decent amount of Fibre and potassium. It helps to maintain normal blood pressure and a healthy digestive system. It is an excellent choice for people suffering from diabetes and heart diseases.

This fruit also contains an ample amount of folate to fulfill your daily RDA. This makes it a good food choice during pregnancy. Folate helps to prevent neural tube defects in newborns.

Cantaloupe has zero cholesterol and rich in minerals like copper, iron, Zinc, etc. essential for the weel being of the body.

Other FAQs about Cantaloupe that you may be interested in.

Can diabetics eat cantaloupe?

Can rats eat cantaloupe?

How to know if a cantaloupe is spoiled?


In this article, we shared with you ways to Identify the perfectly ripe cantaloupe, storage techniques to increase its shelf life, and the health benefits of cantaloupe.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.