Muskmelon vs Cantaloupe: Learn the difference between these two summer fruits and never get confused with their identity!
Muskmelons and cantaloupes are popular fruits for summer desserts and salads. Both have a refreshing flavor and aroma. You can use them interchangeably, though muskmelons and cantaloupes are not the same. Know the difference and clear the muskmelon vs cantaloupe debate once and for all in the article below!
What is a MuskMelon
Muskmelon (Cucumis melo) is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, with a net-like, ribbed crust or peel, and sweet orange flesh. It grows well in moderate subtropical, warm climates and prefers rich, well-drained, fertilized soil.
Along with excellent taste, muskmelon also offers essential nutrients and several health benefits though it is often perplexed with other varieties of melons like cantaloupe.
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What is Cantaloupe
Also known as rockmelon in Australia, the cantaloupe (Cucumis melo cantalupensis) is a variety of muskmelon from the Cucurbitaceae family. The name was originated from Italian Cantalupo, which was formerly a papal country seat nearby Rome.
The cantaloupes have a light green, ribbed rind and sweet orange flesh.
Check out our Article on Growing Cantaloupes Vertically here!
Difference Between MuskMelon and Cantaloupe
Muskmelons and cantaloupes both belong to the same family of Cucurbitaceae. However, muskmelon is from the reticulatus group, whereas cantaloupe is a member of the cantalupensis group.
Appearance is the key differentiating element in muskmelon vs cantaloupe. Muskmelon has tan and ribbed skin, with a sweet, musk-like taste and aroma. The flesh of the fruit has high water content and is orange in color.
On the other hand, cantaloupe features net-like, light green skin, a central seed cavity, and salmon-hued flesh. It is also sweet.
It will be difficult to differentiate between muskmelon and cantaloupe by taking a sniff, as both have a fresh and mild, musk-like, pleasant fragrance.
Muskmelon has a sweet, musky taste and high sugar content that lingers on the tongue for long.
Fully ripen cantaloupes offer a juicy, smooth, and sweet taste. It also has a high water content, which makes you feel full after having the fruit.
You can consume both muskmelons and cantaloupes, raw or fresh, in sweet and savory preparations. Though these fruits are not appropriate for cooking purposes. You can use fresh cantaloupes or muskmelons in salads, cold or fresh desserts, and drinks.
Tip: Store the unripe fruits at room temperature. When ripe, keep the melons and cantaloupes in a refrigerator.
6. Health Benefits
Muskmelons contain high amount of vitamin C, that aids in the prevention of diseases and improve the immune system. Some varieties are rich in vitamin A, necessary for good eyesight, growth, and development.
Moreover, muskmelon also comprises of ellagic, gallic, and caffeic acid antioxidants, a compound that combats cellular damage.
On the other hand, cantaloupes contain high content of fiber, vitamins A and C. It also has fewer carbs and calories.
Muskmelon vs Cantaloupe
Technically, all cantaloupes are muskmelons, but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes. The term ‘muskmelon’ is used to describe the fruit’s sweet flavor and fragrance, which also comprises canary, honeydew, melons, and cantaloupe. However, both fruits have a subtle difference in flavor and appearance.