The netted melons many of us enjoy today were first grown and marketed in 1881 by the Burpee Company. They were called “Netted Gems.”
Ripe melons do not travel well and have a shelf life of about two weeks after harvesting. The majority of cantaloupes in the U.S. market come from California, Texas, and Arizona, during peak summer months. Imports from Central and South America are not as sweet but are available year-round.
The true cantaloupe – Cantaloupensis – grows in Europe. It is not a “netted” melon.
To “ripen” a cantaloupe, leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Place in a closed paper bag if desired. Check daily for signs of mold, especially at the stem and bloom ends.
After cutting, place in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Melons emit an ethylene gas, which should be contained.
Try one of our favorite cantaloupe recipes:
Melon Balls with Port
View BigOven's cantaloupe recipes