The Carosello cucumber has to be one of the most delicious fruits or vegetables I’ve eaten.…
So, what is the sweetest cantaloupe? This question has got me into many debates with fellow gardeners over the years.
Right from the start, I’m going to say the European cantaloupe is the sweetest but with some reservations.
Trouble with this question is, there are too many variables. The cantaloupe family appears to be one that is a little fractured.
There’s questions about what a true cantaloupe is? Are they all muskmelons? Are musk melons cantaloupes?
I’m not sure what happened when they were giving this delicious produce names. All I know is that it is related to watermelons and honey dews but I’m not going into a long explanation why. That’s a topic for another day.
The European cantaloupe I think is the sweetest tasting. It’s not my favorite though. That is reserved for the North American cantaloupe.
Again, there’s conjecture as to whether this is a true cantaloupe.
I love this particular variety. With it’s orange flesh it is fun to grow and produces plenty of fruit when tendered to correctly.
It has a sweet, distinct flavor and while I don’t think it’s as sweet as the European version, I have it on top as my favorite.
Why Is It Important To Know What The Sweetest Cantaloupe Is?
Well, I’m not sure it’s all that important. But when you choose the sweetest cantaloupe, you know that it will be chock full of nutrition.
In fact, the sweeter the cantaloupe is, the better for you it is. A cantaloupe can provide almost your entire daily vitamin C intake. That’s pretty impressive.
It’s antioxidant value is important. Add a good dose of vitamin A to the list of important antioxidants you get from this fruit plus good amounts of beta carotene, potassium, folate and fiber levels, then this is a must eat fruit when in season.
As a youngster growing up on our farm, cantaloupes were a staple part of my garden. Along with watermelons, they were easy to grow.
Actually, they are very easy to grow. I planted the North American variety. It was almost a case of with till the cool weather subsided and mild to ward weather arrived, prepare the soil, water it, plant the cantaloupe seeds, water again and simply provide maintenance checks along the way.
The moment they break ground it sends a shiver up the spine. It will never get old watching produce make their initial breakthrough of the soil. It’s one of the biggest impressions left on me as a budding gardener all those years ago
Maybe the short tutorial on how to easily to grow cantaloupes above is a little too simplistic but I always say people make gardening more complicated than it has to be.
The good thing about growing cantaloupes and watermelons in the same garden is that they provide you with a taste option.
Sweet tasting cantaloupe or sweet tasting watermelon today? I believe I’ll try the cantaloupe.
How To Choose The Right Cantaloupe
Ever stuck at the supermarket trying to figure out if the produce you take will be sweet or ripe enough?
It’s amazing how much of it is wasted when people get home and discover it’s actually over ripe or still green.
Choosing the right cantaloupe for you depends on a couple of things.
Firstly, are you going to eat it within the next twenty four hours. If yes, then you want it a little riper than usual.
If you plan on saving it for a party or dinner engagement you’ve got coming up, then choose a cantaloupe that’s still a little on the green side.
I’m talking about the tan colored North American melons for this exercise. In the supermarket, I simply sniff the stem end of the fruit and if it has a pronounced sweet favor then it’s ready. It should also have a hint of musky flavor.
Another thing to try is by giving the stem end a slight push with your thumb. The slightest of gives will indicate it’s ripe. The more give, the riper it is. Just avoid choosing a melon that has bruises on it or is displaying different colors on it that it’s natural appearance.
A trick I use as a gardener and choosing them from the garden is I cut a small quarter inch piece of the cantaloupe. I go just deep enough to get to the flesh. Most times it’s sweet enough.
What happened if it’s not? I just put a small hole in it. Not to worry, I leave it for another day and then collect it and let it finish it’s maturing stage inside. It’s usually ready to eat with a couple of days anyway.
What Are The Main Factors That Make A Melon Sweet?
There are not a lot of factors that make melons or cantaloupes sweet.
Actually, the truth? There is one main factor that trumps all others. Sunshine and warmth. That’s basically it in a nutshell.
If you are growing cantaloupes or other types of melons at home and struggling to get them to a stage where they are sweet enough or they take a long time to get sweet, look at where you have planted them.
Are they getting enough sunshine. Honestly if they are not getting a minimum of six to eight hours a day then they are not going to ripen and sweeten to quickly.
And don’t think they ever will. The longer they are on the vine trying to mature, the bigger chance there is that they will simply get to a stage where they begin to shrivel between green and ripe.
I hope that makes sense. This wasn’t going to be an article about how to grow a cantaloupe but if you are considering planting this delicious fruit when spring arrives, think sunshine.
If you are growing them early in the spring or late winter, choose the warmest spot in the garden. The more sunshine during this initial growing phase the better.
Finally, what is the sweetest cantaloupe? Well, I vote for the European variety. What is my favorite cantaloupe? The North American.
And the last word on what is the sweetest cantaloupe? Well, I just gave you a clue. The sweetest cantaloupe is the one that enjoys the sunniest spot in the garden.