Honeydew vs. Cantaloupe

Honeydew vs. Cantaloupe

Honeydew and Cantaloupe are types of muskmelon that belong to the gourd family. Honeydew originates from West Africa, while cantaloupe originates from Persia (Iran). Cultivation of honeydew and cantaloupe started roughly 4000 years ago. Both plants grow on the well-drained, sandy soil. Honeydew prefers semi-arid climate, while cantaloupe thrives in areas with tropical and temperate climate. They require plenty of sun for the successful growth and development. Honeydew and cantaloupe are very popular and commonly consumed fruit that can be found in the supermarkets around the world today. Even though they are both types of muskmelon, honeydew and cantaloupe differ in:

Shape and Size

Typical honeydew is round or oval shaped and it usually weighs between 4 and 8 pounds (6 pounds on average). Cantaloupe is round (or slightly oval) in shape and it can reach from 1.1 to 11 pounds of weight.

Morphology of the Rind

Honeydew has smooth, waxy, white, greenish, yellow or orange skin on the surface, while cantaloupe has light brown, rough rind with net-like structure made of corky tissue. European cantaloupe is another type of muskmelon with lightly ribbed, pale green skin. Despite its name, it looks and tastes completely different than American cantaloupe.

Color and Texture of the Flesh and Flavor

Honeydew is sweeter than cantaloupe. It has moist, sweet and light green or white flesh that melts in the mouth. Unlike honeydew, cantaloupe has less juicy, usually salmon-colored or orange flesh.

Harvest of Ripe Fruit

Ripe cantaloupe can be easily removed from the stem (stem breaks and leaves roundish scar on one side of the fruit ). Harvest of honeydew requires greater effort due to stronger stem which connects fruit with the vine.

Ripening

Like with many other types of melon, ripening of cantaloupe stops after removal from the vine (after the harvest). Honeydew is one of the rare types of melon that continues to accumulate sugar (ripens) after the harvest.

Nutrients

Honeydew is good source of vitamin C and dietary fibers. Cantaloupe is rich source of vitamin A, C, B9 (folic acid) and beta-carotene. Both honeydew and cantaloupe contain around 64 calories per 100 grams.

Consumption

Honeydew is more popular and more frequently consumed than cantaloupe. It is usually consumed fresh, as an ingredient of various fruit salads, or combined with ice-cream and custard. Pieces of honeydew mixed with prosciutto are popular antipasto in some parts of the world (especially Europe). Honeydew is also used for the preparation of cold soups. Rind of honeydew can be pickled. Cantaloupe is usually consumed fresh, or used for the preparation of various desserts and smoothies.

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