You know you’ve found a good cantaloupe when it has a healthy color, the stem is slightly soft, the body is plump and firm, and you can hear the seeds rattling away on the inside. It probably tastes as good as it looks, but don’t let your haste outweigh your better judgment. Cantaloupe features distinctive netting that can make it a harbor for bacteria, which is why it’s especially important to clean the fruit properly.
Things You'll Need
Wash your hands with soap and hot water before handling the cantaloupe. Wipe your hands dry.
Place the cantaloupe in the sink. Turn on the water and scrub the cantaloupe with a clean vegetable brush such as a potato brush. Refrain from using dish soap on the cantaloupe because the porous skin could absorb the soap. Be thorough and rotate the cantaloupe as your scrub it with the brush.
Rinse the cantaloupe with water and place it on a paper towel. Blot it with paper towels or let it air dry before slicing it on a clean cutting board.
Cut the cantaloupe in half, from one end (the blossom) to the stem. Cut away any bruised or damaged areas. Run the knife under hot water.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the cantaloupe into wedges or use a melon baller. If you arrange the wedges in a bowl, do so in a way that the rind doesn’t touch the edible part of the cantaloupe as an added precaution.
Store the cleaned and sliced cantaloupe in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap. At a temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less, the fruit should stay fresh for several days.
Store a whole melon purchased from the store in the crisper section of your refrigerator. It should stay fresh for about three days.
References and ResourcesProduce Oasis: Cantaloupe
Food Safety News: Cantaloupe Safety 101
Organic Authority: Cantaloupes
University of Wisconsin: Safety of Cantaloupe
Utah State University: Cantaloupe