Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, or Cucumis melo reticulatus), also
spelled cantaloup, also called rockmelon, is actually the North
American name for a variety of muskmelon. "True cantaloupes
are not netted, have deep grooves, a hard warty rind, and orange or green flesh.
These are grown only in Europe where the population easily makes the distinction
between muskmelons and cantaloupes"  (http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch46.html).
The muskmelons that most Americans call "cantaloupes" have a distinctly netted
or webbed rind (illustration, right).
North American canteloupe, developed by the W.
Atlee Burpee Company and introduced in 1881 as the "Netted Gem", is a round
melon with firm,
orange, moderately sweet flesh and a thin, reticulated, beige to light-brown rind.
Varieties with redder and yellower flesh exist, but are uncommon, and are not
considered to be as flavorful as the more common orange variety. Cantaloupes belong
to family Cucurbitaceae, which includes
nearly all melons and squashes. Cantaloupes
are typically 15–25 cm in length. Like all melons, cantaloupes grow best in sandy,
well-aerated, well-watered soil that is free of encroaching weeds.
commercial plantings, one hive per acre (4,000 m˛ per hive) is the minimum recommendation
by the United
States Department of Agriculture for pollination. Good pollination
is important, not only for the number of fruits produced, but also for the sugar
content of these fruits.
was named after the commune Cantalupo in Sabina,
in the Sabine
Hills near Tivoli, Italy, a summer
residence of the Pope, where it was originally cultivated
around 1700 from seeds brought from Armenia, part of the homeland
of melons. The cantaloupe found in North America is actually a variety of the
muskmelon that Columbus is said
to have brought to the New World on his second voyage in 1494.
most widely cultivated variety of true cantaloupe is the Charentais,
almost exclusive to France. Its lightly ribbed, pale
green skin looks quite different from the North American variety. Pope Innocent
XIII, who reigned from 1721 to 1724, is said to have enjoyed sipping
a kind of port wine from the cavity of
a half-melon at the beginning of a meal as an apéritif.
pieces wrapped in prosciutto make a familiar
- Vegetarians in Paradise: (http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch46.html)
Cantaloupe (offers some general melon history)