Cantaloupes, also known as muskmelons, are part of the gourd family along with honeydew, Crenshaw, watermelon and pumpkin as well as many other vegetables. Ripe cantaloupe has orange, firm flesh and a distinctive sweet flavor. Preparing the melon for a fruit platter is a quick and simple project requiring very little time or culinary experience. Cantaloupes add color and flavor and are quickly cut into different shapes to make a fruit platter attractive and appetizing.
Things You'll Need
Medium-bristle vegetable brush
Large sharp knife
Small thin knife
Melon-ball kitchen tool
Choose three unblemished cantaloupes for a fruit platter that has the fragrant aroma of cantaloupe when you hold the top stem to your nose and smell deeply.
Wash the cantaloupes thoroughly under lukewarm running water while scrubbing them vigorously with a medium-bristle vegetable brush. Blot the melons with an absorbent paper towels to remove most of the excess water.
Set the cantaloupe on its bottom stem on the cutting board. Slice it in half from top to bottom with a large sharp knife. Set the cantaloupe on its bottom stem on the cutting board. Slice the melon in half from top to bottom with a large sharp knife.
Scoop out the seeds from the cavity in the middle of each half cantaloupe with a large spoon and discard the seeds.
Lay four half cantaloupes face down on the cutting board and use a large sharp knife to cut them from top to bottom into evenly sized slices of approximately 1 ½-inch thickness. Repeat the process with the other three cantaloupe halves.
Place the slices rind down on the cutting board. Use a small, thin knife to remove the rind by placing the knife blade at one end just above the green rind and just below the orange meat of the cantaloupe. Slice carefully along this line to remove the rinds from two cantaloupes.
Use a melon-ball kitchen tool to scoop out round balls from the two remaining halves of cantaloupe. Reserve the two scooped-out cantaloupe halves.
Arrange the cantaloupe slices randomly and attractively between and around the other fruits on the platter. Mix green grapes and red grapes with the cantaloupe balls; fill each empty half cantaloupe with the mixture and place them in the center of the platter for a decorative touch.
Select cantaloupes that feel heavier than they look as an indication of ripeness. Arrange the fruit on a platter with a raised lip to capture the juices. Refill the fruit platter as it becomes empty rather than putting out a large amount at one time. This practice limits leftovers.
Food-safe soaps are available from health food stores to wash the outer rind of the cantaloupe.