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Cantaloupe

Encourage our Québec producers
Cantaloupe is a deliciously sweet melon available year-round, but it’s best in the summertime. It can be cooked either savory or sweet.

How to choose a cantaloupe

  • Choose a cantaloupe that's firm all over except around the stem where it should yield slightly to finger pressure. A good cantaloupe will have a sweet aroma at the base of the peduncle (stalk) unless it's been refrigerated.
  • A cantaloupe that's picked too early, before it’s ripened, will often have a broken piece of hard stem. Best avoided!
  • Cantaloupes grow on the ground, so don't worry if one side is discoloured. You should, however, avoid cantaloupes with a rind that's greenish or soft in spots.
  • Choose a cantaloupe that feels heavy for its size. It will be even more delicious.

How to store it

  • If the cantaloupe isn't ripe, store it up to four days at room temperature, and then refrigerate. A cantaloupe stored close to apples or bananas will ripen more quickly because it's exposed to the ethylene gas emitted by these fruits.
  • For maximum flavour, remove cantaloupe from the fridge a while before eating it.
  • Freezing is not recommended for cantaloupe because its flesh will become too soft.

No more waste

  • Are your cantaloupes getting too ripe? Transform them into iced soup in the blender with a touch of lemon juice, salt, and fresh ginger if you like.
  • Recycle cantaloupe rinds and use them as soup bowls. How cool is that?!

Gourmet tips

  • To cook any type of squash, just cut it in half, place it flat side down on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven at 200°C (400°F) for 30 to 45 minutes or until its flesh is tender.
  • To enhance its sweetness, place squash on a baking sheet and brush it with some locally produced maple syrup.
  • Purée squash as you would potatoes: add some butter, milk, salt and pepper... and your own personal touch.
  • For a different take on noodles, use a fork to separate the flesh of spaghetti squash. Serve with spaghetti sauce, pesto, or an Asian stir-fry.
  • Use the empty shell of a spaghetti squash as a lasagna dish by layering it with noodles, sauce, and cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and serve.
  • To prepare pasta-free lasagna, partially cook a butternut squash in the oven, and then peel and cut it into slices the thickness of lasagna noodles.
  • Looking for a quick side dish? Cut and then remove the seeds of an unpeeled acorn squash, drizzle on some maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 200°C (400°F) for about 20 minutes.

Try a cantaloupe salad!

With its sweet taste and firm texture, the cantaloupe is one of the best fruits to use in salads. Choose an oil-based vinaigrette and mix cantaloupe cubes or balls with other savoury ingredients. Here are some suggestions:

  • Diced tomatoes, fresh mint, salt and pepper
  • Chopped red onion, prosciutto, almonds, and arugula
  • Honey, grated fresh ginger, and fresh mint
  • Prosciutto, peaches, bocconcini cheese, mixed greens, and a little balsamic vinegar added to the vinaigrette
  • Prosciutto, mini-bocconcini cheese, and crushed pistachios over a bed of barbecue-grilled asparagus