How to Tell If a Cantaloupe is Ripe

cantaloupe iStock 19479063 XLARGE
(Photo: iStock)

Grocery shopping is extra special come summertime. Rows of the freshest fruits and veggies as far as the eye can see. Fruit trucks and farmer's markets of local produce makes us smile, not to mention our bodies 'thanking' us for all this healthy food.

It's pretty obvious when a berry is fresh and ready to eat, same goes for our beloved kale and cauliflower. When it comes to one of our favorite summer fruits - cantaloupe - how can you tell when it is ripe? And no, we don't need a melon joke to teach us, just a good life hack, of course.

What You Need
Cantaloupe

Now What?
1. Give that cantaloupe a sniff - it should smell sweet and have a hint of floral scent. 

2. Shake it! That's right, gently shake the cantaloupe and if you can hear it's seeds rattling, it is ripe.

3. Squeeze the cantaloupe - just a bit. If it gives a little, it's an indication it is ripe. If it gives a lot, stay away from that one, it's probably spoiled.

Why It Works
Sniff, shake and squeeze - these three steps work in conjunction as indicators that your cantaloupe is ready for enjoyment because they have to do with when the cantaloupe was picked. If picked too soon, the stem area will not emit that key sweet, floral scent.

Shaking for loose seeds will only work if the cantaloupe is not being picked directly from the vine. If you are testing your cantaloupe from the ground up, skip this step. However, it works for grocery store testing as the cantaloupe ripens, the seeds fall off. The flesh of the cantaloupe reacts to ripening as it becomes softer as does it protective skin.