The best way to pick a cantaloupe is by smell. The fruit should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. A good cantaloupe feels heavy for its size. Melons should be free of cuts, bruises, or other defects. One side of the melon might looked blemished it is probably “the ground spot” where the melon rested against the ground. The whole melon is still completely fine to eat.
Melons should be washed under running tap water before cutting. If desired, a scrub brush can be used on the melon rind.
Do not store cut cantaloupe at room temperature for any length of time. Refrigerate ripe melons, but do not freeze. It is best not to cut a cantaloupe until you are ready to eat it. If you need to return cut melon to the refrigerator, do not remove the seeds from the remaining sections as they keep the flesh from drying out. Cut melon should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator immediately.