Here's The Difference Between Muskmelon And Cantaloupe

It's that time of year when ripe, delicious melons start popping up on supermarket shelves. There are few things more refreshing than biting into a sweet, juicy melon on a warm summer day, but there are so many types of melons, it can be difficult to understand the difference between all the varieties. You may have heard the term muskmelon, which is one of the most popular summer melons on the market. 

They are actually a part of the gourd family, and are closely related to other plant favorites like zucchini, pumpkin, and squash, according to Healthline. Muskmelons are characterized by their ribbed, netlike rind and sweet, musky flavor. Cantaloupes, honeydew, and Persian melons all fall under this category. This means there is actually no real difference between cantaloupe, perhaps one of the most commonly sold types of melons, and muskmelon. Rather, cantaloupe is a specific type of muskmelon, one with a thick rind and a tender, pleasantly sweet orange flesh.

Muskmelons are loaded with nutritional benefits

Muskmelons are sweet, refreshing, and contain high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins. They contain high amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, and are rich in other nutrients like potassium, folate, copper, magnesium, and B vitamins, according to Healthshots. Regularly eating muskmelon has a number of health benefits, including boosting the immune system, helping to regulate blood sugar levels, and aiding in weight loss.

While cantaloupe is nutritionally very similar to other muskmelon varieties, cantaloupe does deliver slightly higher levels of fiber and vitamins A and C, per Healthline. It also boasts a very sweet, mild, and pleasing flavor that makes it a favorite ingredient for fruit salads, smoothies, or other sweet summer treats. Other muskmelons, like honeydew, have a lighter, less sweet flavor, with a refreshing, slightly floral aftertaste, per My Recipes.

But when you go shopping for fruits, it doesn't matter if you're drawn to the bright sweetness of the cantaloupe, or the subtle and fresh flavor of honeydew — you'll still be getting all the nutritional benefits that are packed into each healthy muskmelon.