Among the varieties of muskmelons, cantaloupes are undoubtedly among the most popular ones.
Cantaloupes are readily available in grocery stores. You can also grow them in your kitchen garden conveniently.
If you’ve ever come across cantaloupes or are a first-time cantaloupe buyer, you may wonder: how long does cantaloupe last?
Or, maybe you’ve grown a ton of cantaloupes in your kitchen garden. And now you’re wondering how to store them well so you can enjoy the fruit as long as you can.
If these situations sound similar to you, you have landed on the right page.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything about the shelf life of cantaloupes.
If you want to learn more about the right ways to store cantaloupes, how long they last, and how to tell if your cantaloupes have turned bad, read on.
How Long Does Cantaloupe Last? Does Cantaloupe Go Bad?
The shelf life of cantaloupe depends on different factors, such as how they were stored when they were picked or how they were grown. If you grow your own cantaloupes, that’s an added benefit.
However, if you purchase cantaloupes from the grocery store, look out for the ones with huge cracks, bruises, or discolorations.
It is best to avoid such cantaloupes if you want to maintain longer shelf life.
Just like any other food product, cantaloupes also turn bad at some point in time.
However, since they don’t come with best before dates, you may use the date of purchase to determine their shelf lives.
To discuss the shelf life of cantaloupes more precisely, let’s first talk about whole cantaloupes.
Whole cantaloupes usually have a longer shelf life as compared to chopped/ sliced cantaloupes. It is so because whole cantaloupes stay covered by their protective outer skin.
Whole cantaloupes generally have a shelf life of around five to seven days when kept outside the refrigerator.
If you refrigerate your cantaloupe, it may extend its shelf life up to twelve days.
When it comes to sliced cantaloupe, it can last only for about three to four hours over the counter.
Thus, if you want to increase the shelf life, always make sure to store sliced cantaloupes in the refrigerator. Sliced cantaloupes in the fridge may last up to a week.
You can also choose to freeze your cantaloupes to further extend their shelf lives.
Cantaloupes can retain their optimal quality in the freezer up to a year. For freezing your cantaloupes, make sure to cut them into smaller pieces.
Place the sliced cantaloupes in an airtight container or freezer bags to store them in the freezer.
But remember, thawed cantaloupe will be darker in color and also softer than regular cantaloupes. However, their taste will remain the same.
How to Tell if Cantaloupe Is Bad? Cantaloupe Shelf Life!
Signs of bad cantaloupe are pretty obvious. You don’t even need to taste it.
You can simply tell by the looks and smell of it if your cantaloupe has turned bad.
As said earlier, do not buy cantaloupes with bruises from the store.
These are usually signs of overripe cantaloupes. Overripe cantaloupes will have a shorter shelf life than ripe cantaloupes.
Bad cantaloupes develop signs of spoilage both inside and out. Let’s first discuss the spoilage of whole cantaloupes. Then move on to sliced cantaloupes.
When it comes to whole cantaloupes, it develops bruises and discoloration during the early stage of turning bad.
These bruises keep spreading until the whole cantaloupe turns bad. Another sign of spoilage is the cantaloupe losing its shape and becomes too soft.
Also, you may notice the juice of the fruit leaking outside its outer layer. You may even look out for a change in color and smell. Bad cantaloupe becomes darker in color and also gives off a foul odor.
Sliced cantaloupes also turn extremely mushy and soft when they turn bad. If you’ve come across bad avocados and kiwi with molds on them, you can expect the same sight on bad cantaloupes.
Sliced cantaloupes develop some kind of fungal growth, which is usually fuzzy and white in color.
These are clear signs that you should discard the sliced cantaloupes. Sliced cantaloupes that have turned bad will also develop a foul, sour odor.
On the other hand, if you find a cantaloupe that is past its prime, but there are no clear signs of spoilage, you don’t necessarily have to discard it.
Just double-check the cantaloupe thoroughly, and you can try turning it into a puree and delicious smoothies.
Whether you want to snack on cantaloupe bread or slurp some delicious cantaloupe smoothies and soup, you can never run out of options with this juicy fruit.
However, once you buy them from the store or pick them up from your garden, make sure to store them well.
You can store whole cantaloupes in the kitchen cabinet at room temperature or cut them and store them up in the refrigerator.