I don't like cantaloupe. Change my mind.
August 9, 2019 12:58 PM   Subscribe

This is both a specific and a general question. The specific: I've never liked cantaloupe, though I can tolerate it wrapped in prosciutto. I don't like not liking things, so I'd like to learn how. Do you have any favorite melon-based recipes that will help me use the giant cantaloupe I got in my CSA this week?

The general: What recipes or preparations have you found that have converted you on certain foods? For example, I always thought I didn't like Brussels sprouts until I sampled this recipe that Michael Symon himself made during a cooking demonstration at an event. That dish opened my mind to trying them other ways and now they're a favorite.
posted by ferociouskitty to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If the one way you like cantaloupe is savory, you might like a melon-feta-mint salad. There are lots of recipes you can look at online for inspiration, but it can be as simple as those three ingredients (use fresh, not dried mint) plus a bit of salt and a bit of citrus juice and olive oil.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:04 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]

No recipe, but have you tried sprinkling salt on cantaloupe? That's the way my grandparents taught me to eat it. Also, make sure you have a nice ripe one for the best flavor and texture.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:05 PM on August 9 [13 favorites]

I also dislike cantaloupe. For me, it's largely about the slimy texture, although I also find it cloyingly sweet. Both problems are solved if you turn it into a cold soup with a good blast of acid (citrus or vinegar, maybe Greek yogurt) and some spice (fresh ginger or cinnamon) in it.
posted by dr. boludo at 1:10 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

As a smoothie or juice with ice, mint and lime.
posted by tavegyl at 1:10 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Is it a texture thing? Those are fairly easy to get around; for the longest time I thought I hated watermelon and tomato, but over time I figured out that I love things that taste like watermelon or tomato, it's just the texture I find offputting. Get rid of the texture and I'm fine.

Cantaloupe and other melons do really well in juices and sorbets, and it's easy to drink or eat a lot of those. Although maybe you could use this as a welcome excuse to eat a whole bunch of proscuitto?
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:31 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I had a half a giant cantaloupe for lunch today, eaten with half a package of prosciutto. If my partner didn't have the cured meat around I'd have probably eaten it with cheese and herbs and a generous squirt of lemon.

I have enjoyed a cantaloup smoothie (vanilla ice cream, cantaloupe, mint).
posted by bilabial at 1:37 PM on August 9

I too prefer it wrapped in prosciutto, and my first instinct is that you could just do that, why not? But another thing I do is use it more like a vegetable in salads. So mix up cubes of cantaloup with some greens with a bit of bitterness, like arugula, dandelion leaves, chicory or frisee, and some cherry tomatoes. Dress it with a good vinaigrette. Sprinkle with bacon or feta cheese and/or some crunchy roasted nuts or seeds.
Or make a smoothie or sorbet where you add chili, mint and lime.
posted by mumimor at 1:43 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

I like cantaloupe quite a bit, but today’s store-bought ‘loupes are pretty flavorless compared to what I had back in the day. Definitely try just a few grains of salt on a piece. That was my parents’ way of eating it, and it works quite well.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:50 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]

Definitely try it with a vinaigrette. I don't really like melon of any kind, but I like it that way.
posted by bluebird at 2:02 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

Cantaloupe granita. If it's hot where you are right now, this just might do the trick. If it's in your wheelhouse, this is easily boozeable. The recipe works great with any melon.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:02 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]

I used this recipe* to make melon jam with a canteloupe recently and was very surprised to find that the resulting jam tastes delicious but nothing like melon at all - instead, it tastes more like something made from pumpkin or some other squash. That perception would be aided by adding pumpkin-friendly spices to the recipe.

*Well, half the recipe - I hate canning and can't eat 6 jars of refrigerator jam by myself in a timely manner
posted by darchildre at 2:08 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

It's also worth noting that you might like this cantaloupe without much fiddling. The ones at the stores are often shipped unripe and ripen in transit and taste very different than one picked when ripe and eaten within a day or two.
posted by advicepig at 2:27 PM on August 9 [6 favorites]

Mad canteloupe = chunks + sprinkle lime juice + Tajin.

Pro-tip: works for *all* fruit.
posted by j_curiouser at 2:30 PM on August 9 [9 favorites]

Try it in a salad with savory ingredients, like bacon, chicken, arugula, seeds or nuts, and a lemon juice-based dressing? Use small pieces for a contrasting taste and texture to the rest of the salad.

If you have other fruit, try a fruit salad. Cantaloupe is a nice contrast to other fruits, like bananas or stone fruit.

I also like cantaloupe agua fresca but that might be too strong of a cantaloupe flavor.
posted by Red Desk at 2:46 PM on August 9 [1 favorite]

I find most canteloupe too sweet to be really tasty, but cubed and sprinkled with lime juice it's a lot better. I haven't tried it with tajin but I bet it would be amazing.
posted by quaking fajita at 3:16 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]

Cold melon soup?
posted by kokaku at 3:40 PM on August 9

My inheritance from my Virginia-born father is black pepper gravy, like you eat on biscuits, on cantaloupe. Just black pepper is good, too.
posted by hollyholly at 4:06 PM on August 9

Grilled was my thought as well. It could be a nice foil to a good spicy cumin-y beef patty, meatball, kofta, the way cranberry or pineapple is good with meat. If you can't grill, either under the broiler or maybe browned in butter in a hot pan.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:18 PM on August 9

My Scottish extended family members always add powdered ginger to their cantaloupe.
posted by NorthernAutumn at 5:13 PM on August 9

I love cantaloupe cubed, topped cottage cheese, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Easy and delicious!
posted by WaspEnterprises at 1:29 AM on August 10

I like it cubed with (unsweetened, unflavored) cream-top yogurt.
posted by bunderful at 5:22 AM on August 10

I find underripe cantelope boring, but ripe cantelope is juicy and sweet, maybe try it at different stages of ripeness.
posted by theora55 at 6:37 AM on August 10

Good on you for trying.

Nthing that cantaloupe is often quite disappointing out of season or from the supermarket - off a roadside stand is the best way to have cantaloupe. There are various levels of disagreement about ripeness, but IMO cantaloupe should be soft enough to eat with a spoon - no crunch at all. YMMV - I know some people can't stand ripe fruit of any sort. Also there are several different varietals out there, so it might be worth sampling a few, e.g. at a farmer's market.

There are also variants on the smoked meats: cantaloupe and bacon, cantaloupe and serrano ham . . .

Finally, hey, some people just don't like some things, and that's fine. You gave it a shot.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:40 AM on August 10

The difference between store bought cantaloupe and fresh, ripe, from the garden cantaloupe is a game changer. I've never liked cantaloupe in the least until a friend in TN went out to her garden and picked one, sliced it and put it on the table to go with dinner. Never in my life have I tasted something so good.
posted by Sunnyshe at 12:50 PM on August 10

I have fond summer memories of a cold cantaloupe “soup” that was basically a fruit salad thrown in a blender.

Cantaloupe and kiwi are the only ingredients I remember. There were others (maybe pineapple juice?) but no dairy.
posted by itesser at 5:45 PM on August 10

I find cantaloupe, compared to say honeydew, vaguely... assy? in the same way I don't like papaya, or black truffle. Have a hard time explaining what the taste is that annoys me, but I'm liking these savory suggestions.
posted by Capybara at 5:50 PM on August 11

Every time we have antipasto, we would have melon (honeydew or cantaloupe) with some very very thinly sliced prosciutto.... salty and sweet.

I haven't eaten meat in 25 years... and I still have a fond salivary-gland memory of the taste combination.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 8:12 AM on August 12

« Older Saw ugly accident, ready to ditch my car. Am I...   |   Elevated liver enzymes and triglyceride levels.... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments