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The cantaloupe belongs to the melon family and is related to watermelons, cucumbers, and even pumpkins. Because it’s mostly water, it’s a delicious, refreshing treat on hot summer days.


Fun Facts

  • Cantaloupes grow on long vines. They take up less space in the garden than pumpkins, but one plant needs several feet of garden space to grow.
  • Cantaloupe is eaten fresh by itself or added to fruit salad. Frozen cantaloupe can be tossed in smoothies or other drinks.
  • Cantaloupes originated in India or Africa. They weren’t grown commercially in the United States until the 1890s.
  • Cantaloupes are sometimes called muskmelons.
  • A cantaloupe’s surface can contain bacteria, such as It’s a good idea to always wash cantaloupe before cutting it.
  • Cantaloupe is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • Cantaloupe is named after a village in Italy, Cantalupo. Cantaloupe seeds, brought from Armenia, were planted in the papal garden here in the 1600s.
  • Christopher Columbus brought cantaloupe seeds to America, although American cantaloupes are very different from European cantaloupes, which have gray-green skins.



  1. Papal: related to the Pope
  2. Village: small community


Questions and Answers

Question: How do I pick a good cantaloupe?

Answer: A perfectly ripe cantaloupe should have a sweet, musky smell, especially at the stem end. It should feel neither hard nor soft and be heavy for its weight. Avoid cantaloupes that have the stem still attached. They’re not ripe.


Learn More

Visit a California cantaloupe farm.



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