The Cantaloupe is defined by two elements: its roughly netted stone and green colored skin and its aromatic orange-coral colored flesh. When perfectly ripe, the flesh is juicy, unctuous and sweet. The Cantaloupe will feel heavy versus hollow, a weightiness which is an indicator of its water content. The ripe fruit releases its trademark floral musky aroma. It should yield just slightly to finger pressure at its blossom end, which is opposite of its scarred end, where it was removed from the stem.
The Cantaloupe can be used in fresh or raw preparations, both sweet and savory. It is not found to be suited well for cooking. Fresh Cantaloupe can be used as a breakfast fruit and as a salad ingredient.
Cantaloupe's flavor is unique to all other melon varieties, making substitutes somewhat incomparable. To store, keep unripe Cantaloupes at room temperature. When ripe, refrigerate. Remove melon an hour before serving to bring out its best flavor. Cut Cantaloupe will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for three days.