I am so glad you asked. I just learned the difference myself. Lately I have seen ads for muskmelons and sales on cantaloupes but I couldn’t figure out the difference. They looked the same to me. Plus I can’t stand cantaloupe so I never took much interest in learning anything about the melon family. That all changed in that last few weeks though. Maybe it’s the pregnancy or maybe the excellent quality of produce we get at our CSA, but I have had a slight obsession with the cantaloupe. An when I say obsession I mean that in the most pregnant way. For instance, last week we (mainly me) at 3 of them!! Several times Robert would reach for a slice and realize that I had already eaten the entire plate. For dessert I often find myself deliberating between a piece of dark chocolate or a slice of cantaloupe. Yikes, that’s bad.
So needless to say learning everything I can about this orange melon has been a top priority as of late. Yesterday at our CSA pickup I asked the farmer himself what the difference is between the musk melon and the cantaloupe. Personally I think the name musk melon should go, it sounds like something a hunter rubs on himself to camouflage his own scent. The farmer told me that the muskmelon is more of an East Coast thing and the cantaloupe a West Coast thing. That explains why I know little to nothing about musk melons, I’m a Californian. But he also said that there are minor differences in the flavor. The musk melon is often not quite as sweet and has a stronger “muskier” (for lack of a better term) flavor. It is also heavily ribbed, whereas the cantaloupe lacks these deep grooves. Our CSA farmer was so nice when he heard about my sudden interest in cantaloupes that he slipped an extra one into my bag. I didn’t have the nerve to tell him that I already had one chilled in the fridge for when I got home. Plus having three in the house makes me feel just a little more secure.
Another thing I have learned this week is that I do not know how to cut a cantaloupe. I keep trying different methods and they always turn out all crazy shaped. I am not really a fan of eating off the rind because then it gets all over my face. If I had a melon baller I think that would solve my problems. I think I am going to go buy one, just to feel like a kid again. And as my mom said, who doesn’t have a melon baller? I may also try to do some research on how to cut a perfect melon. Any suggestions?
By the way if this baby girl comes out with an orangeish glow I wouldn’t be surprised.