Credit: Luiz Felipe Castro

Cantaloupes originated in India and Africa and were historically cultivated by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Because they descend from tropical plants, cantaloupes tend to grow in warm temperatures and take a relatively long time to develop. Industrail cantaloup producers often pick and ship the fruits before they are fully ripened and then treat them with sodium hypochlorite, so it's important to seek out fresh, local varieties.

If you're looking for a rich musky flavor and soft flesh, look for cantaloupes with a strong yellow color and no stem. If you prefer a sweet, crisp melon, look for a fruit that still has the stem attached and smell the melon to check there is no aroma coming from it. Cantaloupe can be enjoyed fresh as a snack, as a part of the salad, or with interesting combinations such as prosciutto! It has a ton of beta carotene, which gives it its bright orange color and which your body is able to convert to vitamin A. Cantaloupes are also an excellent source of vitamin C and have a relatively high potassium content.