The melon should smell sweet and floral, like something you want to rub your nose in. Odorless melons are meant to be put back on the pile for a less picky customer.
Most cantaloupes that enter my kitchen are destined for either eating by the slice or chopping up for fruit salad. A whole cantaloupe will keep on the counter for a few days (and fill your kitchen with its heady aroma), and cut cantaloupe will keep refrigerated for a week. There are few greater pleasures than eating ice-cold cubes of cantaloupe straight from the fridge with your fingers.
Cantaloupe makes a remarkably good companion to savory ingredients, like shavings of salty pecorino cheese or rosettes of prosciutto. Cantaloupe salsa goes well with grilled fish tacos, and cantaloupe gazpacho makes a light and summery starter.
What do you like to do with cantaloupe?
Related: In Praise of the Melon Baller
(Image: Anne Hoychuck/Shutterstock)