During the summer and fall people love to make a fruit salad and what can ruin a fruit salad the fastest is an unripe or overripe fruit. Cantaloupe is an essential ingredient to make any fruit salad delicious and unlike melon or watermelon it is hard to look at a cantaloupe and tell if it is ripe. These simple helpful tips will help you pick the perfect cantaloupe.

There are basically two things that you can do to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe or not. The first step and most critical is the smell of the cantaloupe. The smell of the cantaloupe is what gives it away, look for a cantaloupe that has a musky sweet smell. An odorless one is likely to be tasteless, too, so it goes back in the pile.

Now after you have found your musky sweet smelling cantaloupe the next step in finding a ripe cantaloupe is to press on the opposite side of the stem. Use your thumb and press down, what you want is for the cantaloupe to give a little bit. It is important to remember that if it gives a lot your cantaloupe will most likely be lumpy as well.

After you have checked both the smell and toughness of the outside it is time to check the outside. Avoid a cantaloupe with soft spots, bruises or punctures. Don’t worry if there is a sort of bleached side where the melon rested on the ground. The melon should feel heavy for its size.

Cantaloupe is a great fruit that will compliment any other fruit or is great just by itself. Cantaloupe is best served at room temperature but some like it a little chilled so it’s up to you.