Some say it’s the hot sunny days and cool clear nights that make Rocky Ford Cantaloupes™ so sweet and flavorful. Others claim it’s the altitude or perhaps the clay soils and snow-melt irrigation that bestow quality. Regardless, for over a century, farmers in Rocky Ford, Colorado have harnessed summer’s sunshine and captured nature’s goodness to produce the world-famous melons.
For the sweetest eating experience, select a Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™ that is fully ripe. The melon should seem heavy for its size and free of bruises, cuts or soft spots. The rind, in between the netting, should have turned a yellow or orange color instead of the green tones it had before it ripened. The stem end of the melon should be slightly indented and free from stem remnants. The blossom end may be slightly soft, and smell sweet and aromatic. Strongly smelling fruit or soft fruit are usually overripe.
Leaving an under-ripe cantaloupe at room temperature for several days will allow the texture of its flesh to become softer and juicier but not sweeter. Refrigeration will slow down the ripening process. A cantaloupe should only be left at room temperature only if it is whole, once cut it should be refrigerated. Before cutting, melons should be washed. Cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop out the seeds and slice into pieces of desired thickness. Refrigerate sliced cantaloupe if you are not going to consume it immediately.
Ask your grocer for genuine Rocky Ford Cantaloupe™. Look for the Rocky Ford Grower’s Label and don’t settle for less.