Cantaloupe Fun Facts

Cantaloupes are in season year round and sometimes I regretfully forget to buy them as often as I would like. I often do this because I focus so much on what is in season or ashamedly "on trend" at the moment. To salute the cantaloupe I am giving you some fun cantaloupe facts this week. There were a definitely a few I wasn't aware of.

  1. They aren't really “cantaloupe”. The melon that's most widely recognized as cantaloupe in the U.S. is actually a “reticulated muskmelon.” The true cantaloupe– has ribbed pale green skin and looks very different from our cantaloupe. 
  2. Cantaloupe derives its name from the town of Cantalupo, Italy, where cantaloupe seeds arrived from Armenia and were planted in the Papal Gardens in the 16th century.
  3. Cantaloupe are members of a vine-crop family known as Cucurbitaceae, which includes other melons, squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
  4. Its past is mysterious. No one seems able to pin-point exactly where cantaloupe first showed up. 
  5. An average-sized cantaloupe contains just 100 calories. Who knew something so sweet could be so good and low-cal!
  6. Cantaloupe tell you when they're ripe. The vine will naturally slip from the fruit when it's harvest time. You'll also notice the skin will turn creamy-beige under the “netted” pattern on the melon.
  7. Cantaloupe are the most popular melon in the United States.
  8. Full of nutrients. Cantaloupe is packed with Vitamin A and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. 

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