Just about everyone who’s ever tried cantaloupe has had a moment of tastebud-tingling euphoria. These melons are musky, juicy, and downright nectar sweet. If you love them too, you’re sure to adore these 25 other fruits like cantaloupe that look and taste similar. Ready to explore? Read on!
1. Amish Melon
If you’re looking for a delicious American heirloom to try, see if you can get your hands on an Amish melon. This variety grows remarkably well in just about any region in the USA, and are tolerant of both heat and cooler temperatures.
The fruits taste very similar to cantaloupes, but with a firmer texture. The skins are smooth rather than webbed, and are usually bright yellow in hue.
2. Rasjasthan Honey Melon
This heirloom was found at a little market in Delhi, India, and has been introduced to the North American market. It’s exceptionally sweet: in fact, “madhu ras” actually means “honey melon”, as its flavor is somewhere between honey and nectar.
Since these melons are grown in western India’s hottest, driest regions, they’ll also thrive in areas that have a similar climate. For example, they do amazingly well in Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas. This is great for growers who may struggle with growing other musk melons that need more humidity.
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These bright yellow melons have wrinkled skins and pale pinkish-white internal flesh. They’re incredibly sweet, and the flesh has a cream, velvety texture to it. Casabas are some of the juiciest fruits around, and are absolutely divine in flavor.
Although they’re native to Persia, they’re cultivated in Arizona and California. Hopefully you can get your hands on a fresh one to try!
4. Israel Melon
This cantaloupe-sized melon is related to Bailan and Crenshaw melons, and tastes like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew, only not as sweet. Its skin is smooth, and its interior flesh is creamy white and silken.
It’s a juicy, refreshing thirst-quencher, if you can get your hands on one.
5. Charentais Melon
If you’d love to grow melons but live in a colder environment, see if you can get your hands on Charentais melons. Or, if you can’t be bothered to grow them but absolutely love cantaloupe-like flavors and textures, look for these at farmer’s markets instead. They’re originally from northern France, but have been naturalized in cooler US regions like Colorado and North Dakota.
They have webbed skins like cantaloupes, but their flesh has a more delicate flavor, with a slightly tart-acidic aftertaste.
6. Hearts of Gold
This musk melon looks like a cantaloupe, with moderate ribbing and very webbed skin. Inside, it’s bright orange, with incredibly sweet, juicy flesh. It’s an heirloom that was popular at markets from the 1890s to the 1930s, after which it fell out of fashion. Fortunately, you can buy seeds and grow your own if you have a green thumb!
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7. Snap Melon
Now, this is a fascinating type of melon from India. It’s oblong in shape, with smooth, pinkish-orange skin, and bright orange interior flesh. Flavor-wise, it has a very mild taste rather like immature cantaloupe, with a mealy texture. Add agave syrup or honey to it in order to enhance its sweetness if you eat it as a dessert, or combine it with other fruits in smoothies.
What’s fascinating about this melon is that the fruit literally explodes when it’s ripe, scattering its seeds in all directions. This is where the fruit got its name: it “snaps” apart.
8. Kajari Melon
If you love beautiful-looking melons, see if you can get your hands on a Kajari. These originated in Punjab, India, and have bright copper skins streaked with lime green. Their inner flesh is yellowish, and tastes like mild cantaloupe mixed with cucumber.
9. Golden Langkawi
If you like canary and casaba melons, you’ll probably love Golden Langkawis as well. They’re from Malaysia, and are even sweeter than cantaloupes, honeydews, and casabas, amazingly. They have startlingly bright yellow skins and soft, juicy white flesh.
As far as fruits like cantaloupes go, not only are Golden Lankawis similar, they even surpass them in flavor.
This melon comes from Rishon LeZion, Israel. It’s a hybrid between cantaloupe and honeydew, with bright green inner flesh and webbed skin. Although the flesh is green like its honeydew parentage, it tastes more like cantaloupe, and is incredibly juicy.
Although this was cultivated in Israel, it has been introduced to North America and is grown in Texas and surrounding hot, dry States.
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11. Banana Melon
Okay, so as far as fruits like cantaloupe go, banana melons are all about similar flavor, not appearance. They’re shaped like bananas (hence their name), with smooth yellow skin. Inside, bright green rind shifts into salmon-colored flesh, which tastes like musky, spicy cantaloupe.
You can find these all over the USA, and they’re easy to grow pretty much everywhere.
Although these look like cantaloupes, their flavor is markedly different. Since these were adapted to grow in drought conditions, they’re not as juicy as other musk melon types. Furthermore, they’re not as sweet either.
Caravelle melons taste a bit like winter melons, with dense, firm, deep orange flesh.
13. Mango Melon
These flaming yellow melons are quite small, and grow to maturity in about 70 days. This makes them ideal for home growers! Mango melons were first cultivated in China, and made their way over to the USA in the Victorian era. Their flesh is pale, and tastes like a mix between cantaloupe, honeydew, and peach.
14. Crane Melon
You’ll only be able to find Crane melons if you live near the Crane Melon Barn in Santa Rosa, California. They look and taste a lot like cantaloupes, but with softer, even sweeter flesh. It’s because they’re so soft inside that they don’t travel well, hence why you can only get them if you live locally.
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15. Canary Melon
If you’ve ever seen a canary bird in person, you’ll understand where this melon got its name from. Its skin is the same yellow hue, though it gives way to creamy, sweet, honeydew-canteloupe flavored flesh. It has a slightly tangier, more acidic aftertaste, and the flesh is as soft as overripe pear.
16. Persian Melon
Do you love unusual-looking fruits? Then you’re going to love Persian melons. They’re elongated and smooth, with green skin and deep, rich, orange flesh. These grow to rather large size, and as a result, they’re not as sugary as other melons.
As far as flavor profiles go, these melons taste a lot like cantaloupe, but aren’t as sweet. They also have firmer flesh. You may be able to find them at specialty grocery stores, though they’re not as common as other melons.
17. Golden Jenny
If you enjoy various fruits like cantaloupe, you’ll love Golden Jenny melons. These deeply ridged cantaloupe cousins are smaller than many other melons, only reaching about 2lbs at maturity. They have dense, peach-orange flesh and a lovely, subtle, sweet flavor.
If you only have a small yard, or you’re short on growing time, try to grow these. They mature in about 70 days, and only get as large as a softball.
18. Saticoy Melon
Although a lot of melons on this list are heirlooms, the Saticoy was only cultivated in the mid 1980s. It was developed in California, and is a cantaloupe hybrid designed to thrive in drought-like conditions. It has an incredibly small seed cavity, and instead has dense, thick flesh.
Since it was bred to thrive in droughts, its flesh isn’t as sweet or juicy as other melons. That said, its rich color makes it high in beta-carotene and other beneficial antioxidants.
Related Post: What does Winter Melon Taste Like?
19. Bailan Melon
This honeydew-cantaloupe type melon is native to China, and has bright, pale green flesh. It’s unbelievably sweet: even moreso than many others on this list. Bailans are also incredibly juicy, making them excellent for hydration as well as nutrition. In fact, Bailans are known for being high in both protein and Vitamin C.
20. Noir de Carmes
Hey gothic gardeners: here’s a melon to add to your garden next season! These beautiful melons have smooth, ridged skins that are so dark green, they’re almost black. This is what gave them their name, as “noir” means “black” in French. They were cultivated by Carmelite monks in France, and date back to at least the 18th century.
Their flesh is dense and juicy, and has amazingly sweet, sugary flesh. This sweetness is what made them so popular with French society in the early 1800s.
21. Yubari King
Few people in the world have even seen a Yubai King melon, let alone tried one. It’s one of the rarest fruits like cantaloupe out there, and unbelievably expensive to buy. Apparently in 2016, someone bought a pair of them for around $26,000 USD.
If your budget can handle this kind of indulgence, you’d best buy yourself a plane ticket. You’ll only be able to find these in the Yubari region of Hokkaido, Japan.
Now these are a real treat. Casabanana fruits (also known as “sicanas”), are native to Brazil. They have smooth, ruby red skins and bright yellow-orange flesh. Taste-wise, the flesh has been described as having a flavor very similar to cantaloupe melon, only not quite as sweet.
The under-ripe fruit is cooked and eaten like zucchini, while the ripe ones are used in desserts, jams, and alcoholic beverages.
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23. Tigger Melon
These Armenian melons are somewhere between a tennis and softball in terms of size, and perfectly round. They got their name because their skins are either striped or mottled in shades of orange, rather like a tiger.
Their flesh is pale and wonderfully fragrant, and intoxicatingly sweet. The sweetness even intensifies when they’re grown in dry climates!
If you love melon and avocado, then gac is a must-have for you. These melons might look intimidating, considering that they’re covered in spikes. But if you’re brave and persistent, you can break through it to the delicious flesh within.
Inside, these melons are bright red, and their flesh has been described as the aforementioned mix of cantaloupe and avocado. It’s creamy and sweet, and makes an excellent dessert. You can find these throughout Southeast Asia and Australia.
Okay, so here’s something confusing. Remember those math problems that stumped us as kids? Well, get this: all cantaloupes are muskmelons, but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.
Have you tried any of these fruits like cantaloupe yet? There are undoubtedly more out there than those we’ve found so far, but don’t the ones on this list sound incredible?
Hopefully you can scour local markets to find some new, exciting flavors to explore. Be sure to try them in different ways, including frozen, pureed, juiced, salted, and combined with unusual textures. You really can’t go wrong with melon, so you’re certain to love just about anything you can dream up.