In this article, we'll be describing overripe cantaloupe. You'll learn what it tastes like, how the texture changes as this fruit matures, and how to use it up before it spoils.
Let's get started...
What Does Overripe Cantaloupe Taste Like?
Cantaloupe is one of those base ingredients in fruit salads everywhere. When ripe, it's sweet and floral, though nicely mellow in flavor without being bland.
When cantaloupe reaches a point just beyond peak ripeness, the vague muskiness in the melon becomes more pronounced, though the sweetness intensifies.
Overripe Cantaloupe Texture
Just like watermelons, cantaloupes start turning mushy and a little grainy when overripe. They're very tender when perfectly ripe, turning seriously soft as they continue to mature.
Unlike watermelons, which get dried out over time, cantaloupes get juicier as they age. You might even prefer them a little toward the "well-done" side if you know how to prepare them, which we'll get into below.
Is It OK to Eat Overripe Cantaloupe?
Because they're so moist, older cantaloupes are great for smoothies and cold soups just like older watermelons. They can also be used in jams, salsas and desserts.
There's no reason you can't just scoop overripe cantaloupe from the rind and eat it directly. However, the texture is not for everyone in this stage.
How Can You Tell If Cantaloupe Is Spoiled?
Luckily, there are quick ways to tell when a cantaloupe is no longer simply overripe, but bad. First, check the outside. If you see grayish, brown or black spots, you may want to avoid it.
Do the sniff test. If the rind of a whole cantaloupe smells funky, fermented or in any way unappealing, you can tell that it's no longer edible. If cut cantaloupe looks discolored or slimy, don't eat it. It's probably rotten.
Should I Refrigerate Cantaloupe?
You should definitely refrigerate cantaloupe that has been pre-sliced. The sliced pieces should last several days in the refrigerator, perhaps no more than a couple if they're from an overripe fruit.
Storing whole or cut cantaloupe in the fridge is a good way of extending its shelf life, particularly if it's a rapidly aging one. A fresh cantaloupe can last approximately one week if kept chilled, so knock off a few days if it's already getting old.
It's worth noting that you can also freeze cantaloupe. This is the best way to extend it indefinitely. Plan on incorporating it into delicious recipes when it's thawed.
Cantaloupe Serving Tips
The best ways to preserve cantaloupe near the end of its life cycle is to cook with it, blend it up and otherwise get creative with it. These videos will show you how.
You're going to want to make these popsicles when the weather gets warm. If you have popsicle molds, you're just a few ingredients away.
Here's what you'll need:
- Overripe cantaloupe
- Vegan milk
- Lucuma powder
- Rice syrup (or any liquid sweetener you like)
This smoothie is sweet with a slight tang from raspberries.
Grab these ingredients:
- Your mature cantaloupe
You don't have to stick with salads when you get into the foodie recipes.
Try this fresh melon salsa with these ingredients:
- Red Onion
- Lime Juice
There's nothing wrong with eating overripe cantaloupe. It's just as delicious as cantaloupe at its prime ripeness, just sweeter and muskier. Unless it's spoiled—don't eat cantaloupe that looks slimy or has dark spots spreading on it. Save your overripe fruit by dicing it up and adding it to salsas, salads, smoothies and desserts—cantaloupe popsicles and vegan ice cream will keep you cool on a hot, sunny day.