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How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe

Buying a cantaloupe is easy but you don’t want to just grab one and go with it. Like any other fruits and vegetables, you want to look it over and make sure you get a fresh, ripe one.

In order to get a good one, you need to know how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe or not. Using your senses you can pick out a nice ripe one that you can enjoy when you get home.

Slices of juicy cantaloupe on a plate with sprigs of mint leaves

How to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe is easy. You want it to be beige in color, smell sweet at the bottom, feel slightly soft at the stem and you can knock on it and listen for a solid sound.

3 easy ways to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe

Once cantaloupe is picked it will not continue to ripe so it is important to get a ripe one at the store.

All you have to do is use your senses to figure out if you are buying a ripe cantaloupe or not. It might not be as easy as looking for a date on it to tell you if it is ripe or not but it’s really simple.

You just have to look it over, sniff it, and give it a knock. Sounds like a lot of weird steps but you will understand just what I mean the next time you buy a cantaloupe.

If you are also a pineapple fan I also cover how to tell if a pineapple is ripe.

1. Look at it

A ripe cantaloupe will have a sandy beige-colored rind when it is ripe. If it is still green then I would look on to the next one.

Another way that you can look for ripeness is by the stem. It will have a smooth, round, indent where the stem was. If it isn’t concaved then it may not be ripe.

2. Sniff test

You want your cantaloupe to have a sweet smell to it, especially at the blossom. The blossom is the opposite end from the stem side. If you don’t smell anything then it isn’t ripe.

You want to make sure that you don’t smell a fermented or sour smell as that would indicate it has over-ripened.

3. Knock knock

Might seem strange to be knocking on cantaloupe in the middle of the grocery store but it really does help when trying to pick the best one.

If you gently knock on the rind and hear a solid, low sound then that is the sound of a ripe cantaloupe. If it sounds hollow then it is most likely either under-ripe or overripe.

Check out my post on how to select fresh produce to help you know what to look for when you are at the store.

How to ripen a cantaloupe

You want to make sure it is ripe before you cut your cantaloupe.

As I said before, you a cantaloupe will not continue to ripen after it has been picked. You can however make it soften and become a juicer.

If you place a cantaloupe into a paper bag and close it your cantaloupe will naturally give off Ethylene which helps to soften the fruit.

A lot of people think this is ripening it but in actuality, it just softens it so that it is juicier.


Once you’ve found that perfectly ripe cantaloupe, why stop there? Explore our detailed post on fruit ripeness to elevate your fruit-picking skills across the board, from melons to berries.

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