What is the average shelf life of a cantaloupe? How long do cantaloupes last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store cantaloupes to increase their shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:
Shelf Life of Cantaloupes
|Raw||1-2 Days||3-5 Days||9-12 Months|
Shelf Life of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is a member of the melon family that has orange flesh and a rough, firm outer skin. Cantaloupe is low in calories and is a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to balance the body’s electrolyte levels and can aid in reducing dehydration. The sweet-tasting melon has a shelf life of around ten days in the fridge. When kept on the counter, the number drops down to about four days. A cool and dark space can maintain the freshness of the melon. To maximize the shelf life, keep the fruit whole. Cut fruit in the fridge will last three or four days.
The most noticeable trait of cantaloupe is its smell. It has a strong, sweet smell that is distinctive to the fruit. The second sign of a good cantaloupe is the outer skin. The skin should be uniform with no signs of puncture. Discoloration of the skin can be caused by bruising, but if it looks like the melon has shriveled, do not buy it. The weight of the fruit should feel greater than its appearance. Water makes up most of the weight of a melon and gives it the firmness we search for so dearly.
Cantaloupe should be bought in small quantities and be consumed in less than ten days if stored in the fridge. The melon should be stored whole because as soon as a part is removed, the water inside the melon can escape. This causes the melon to drop in weight, size, and, most importantly, flavor. Fresh cantaloupe can be pureed and frozen for future use. Even in its frozen pureed form, the fruit only lasts around three weeks. Cut up cantaloupe should be inside an airtight container and used within two days. The first sign of the melon losing freshness will be the texture, followed by the smell.
How to Handle Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is cut into smaller sections, and then the skin can be removed. The pulp has a firm, watery texture, but the pulp can break apart when separating it from the skin. As with every other melon, it has a high water content, which means cutting it will lead to juices dripping. It is a good idea to wash the rind before cutting the cantaloupe. As the knife pierces the skin, contaminants that are invisible to the naked eye can be transferred to the pulp. The pulp can be removed from the rind using a spoon or a knife. A spoon makes for easier removal, while a knife reduces the amount of waste.
Cooking with Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe can be used as the main ingredient in desserts or can provide a large palate of flavor in savory dishes. The melon can be roasted, baked, fried, mashed, or even blitzed. Cantaloupe puree can be used to make smoothies, or it can work as a dessert base. The cooking time for cantaloupe is low, as the soft pulp and high water content means prevent a long cooking time. Start by cutting the melon in half, and with a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Remove the husk with the help of a knife. The remaining pulp can be diced, chopped, or blended.