"Rockmelon" redirects here, for the band see Rockmelons
Rockmelons, often referred to as the Rockies, are an Australian Pop/Dance/R&B group formed in 1983 in Sydney. They are based around Bryon Jones, his brother Jonathon Jones and Raymond Medhurst. They had two Top Five hit singles in the early 1990s with "Ain't No Sunshine" and "That Word ", both sung...
. See also Cantaloupe (disambiguation)
Cantaloupe is a fruit.Cantaloupe may also refer to:* Cantaloupe Island, a jazz standard* Cantaloupe Music, a record label* "Cantaloop" , a 1993 song by Us3...
Muskmelon is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varieties such as honeydew, crenshaw and casaba, and different netted cultivars...
) refers to a variety of Cucumis melo, a species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...
in the family Cucurbitaceae
The plant family Cucurbitaceae consists of various squashes, melons, and gourds, including crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, luffas, and watermelons...
which includes nearly all melon
thumb|200px|Various types of melonsThis list of melons includes members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae with edible, fleshy fruit e.g. gourds or cucurbits. The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit...
s and squashes. Cantaloupes range in size from 0.5 to 5 kg (1.1 to 11 lb). Originally, cantaloupe referred only to the non-netted orange
The colour orange occurs between red and yellow in the visible spectrum at a wavelength of about 585–620 nm, and has a hue of 30° in HSV colour space. It is numerically halfway between red and yellow in a gamma-compressed RGB colour space, the expression of which is the RGB colour wheel. The...
-fleshed melons of Europe; however, in more recent usage it has come to mean any orange-fleshed melon (C. melo).
Cantaloupes have been linked to listeriosis
illness caused by Listeria
bacteria that contaminated the fruit while they were being stored and sorted in cold conditions after harvest.
Cantaloupes by region
The European cantaloupe
is lightly ribbed, with a gray-green skin that looks quite different from that of the North American cantaloupe.
The North American cantaloupe
, common in the United States, Mexico, and in some parts of Canada, has a net-like (or reticulated) skin covering. It is a round melon with firm, orange, moderately sweet flesh and a thin, reticulated, light-brown rind. Varieties with redder and yellower flesh exist but are not common in the U.S. market.
The cantaloupe originated in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...
; and was first cultivated by the Egyptians, followed by the Greeks and Romans.
Production and uses
Because they are descended from tropical plants, and tend to require warm temperatures throughout a relatively long growing period, cantaloupes grown in temperate climates are frequently started indoors, and grown indoors for 14 days or longer, before being transplanted outdoors.
Cantaloupes are often picked, and shipped, before fully ripening. Postharvest practices include treatment with a sodium hypochlorite
wash to prevent mold growth and Salmonella growth. This treatment, because it can mask the melon's musky aroma, can make it difficult for the purchaser to judge the relative quality of different cantaloupes.
Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert
In cultures around the world, dessert is a course that typically comes at the end of a meal, usually consisting of sweet food. The word comes from the French language as dessert and this from Old French desservir, "to clear the table" and "to serve." Common Western desserts include cakes, biscuits,...
with ice cream or custard. Melon pieces wrapped in prosciutto
Prosciutto |ham]]) or Parma ham is a dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto....
are a familiar antipasto
Antipasto , means "before the meal" and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, olives, roasted garlic, peperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses...
Because the surface of a cantaloupe can contain harmful bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...
—in particular, Salmonella
Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming, predominantly motile enterobacteria with diameters around 0.7 to 1.5 µm, lengths from 2 to 5 µm, and flagella which grade in all directions . They are chemoorganotrophs, obtaining their energy from oxidation and reduction...
—it is always a good idea to wash a melon thoroughly before cutting and consumption. Only store the fruit for less than three days after cutting to prevent risk of Salmonella or other bacterial pathogens.
A moldy cantaloupe in a Peoria, Illinois
Peoria is the largest city on the Illinois River and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, in the United States. It is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007, and is the third-most populated...
market in 1941 was found to contain the best and highest quality penicillin
Penicillin is a group of antibiotics derived from Penicillium fungi. They include penicillin G, procaine penicillin, benzathine penicillin, and penicillin V....
, after a worldwide search.
Cantaloupes are a source of polyphenol antioxidant
A polyphenol antioxidant is a type of antioxidant containing a polyphenolic substructure. Numbering over 4,000 distinct species, many of these compounds have antioxidant activity in vitro but are unlikely to have antioxidant roles in vivo...
s, chemicals which were thought to provide certain health benefits to the cardiovascular and immune system
An immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own...
s by regulating the formation of nitric oxide
Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, is a diatomic molecule with chemical formula NO. It is a free radical and is an important intermediate in the chemical industry...
, a key chemical in promoting health of the endothelium
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood in the lumen and the rest of the vessel wall. These cells are called endothelial cells. Endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system, from the heart...
and prevention of heart attacks
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...
. However, recent research has indicated they may overcompensate, as the body already has mechanisms to deal with oxidation.
Cantaloupes also are an excellent source of vitamin C.