Cantaloupe is in the same family as squashes, pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers. It grows on a vine on the ground. The difference between a cantaloupe and a squash is in the way we use them. Squashes are eaten as vegetables, while cantaloupes are thought of as a sweet fruit.

Fresh slice canteloupe
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Fresh sliced cantaloupe on a cutting board

What is a vegetable?

two cantaloupes
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Cantaloupe growing on their vines

According to Webster dictionary, a vegetable is anything made from, obtained from, or containing plants or plant products. A melon is in the family of Cucurbitaceous, which includes cucumber, squash, gourds, and pumpkins. Therefore, a cantaloupe is a vegetable.

How cantaloupes grow

Cantaloupe Half
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A close up of seeds in a halved cantaloupe

Cantaloupes grow from seeds. They are harvested like other vegetables.

What does a cantaloupe look like?

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The light brown exterior of a cantaloupe

Cantaloupes have a light brown rind with a netted skin. Inside, the melon are seeds and orange flesh.

Benefits of cantaloupes

Chunks of cantaloupe melon
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A close up of cantaloupe chunks

Cantaloupes are low in calories and high in potassium and vitamin C.They contain beta-carrotin which is good for your eyes.

How to choose a cantaloupe

Cantaloupe
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A basket of cantaloupe at a farmer's market

Tap the melon with your hand and listen for a hollow sound. Look for a yellow color underneath the netting. A green color means the fruit is unripe.

Safety

cantaloupe slices
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Slices of fresh cut cantaloupe on a cutting board

It is important to wash the melon before cutting into it,since bacteria can grow on the rind.