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CANTALOUPE - Actually called a muskmelon, this familiar fruit with orange flesh and khaki netted colored skin provides the most beta-carotene in the entire melon family. Select melons that are slightly golden with a light fragrant smell (an indication of its ripeness). Cantaloupe is typically available year-round, with a June through August peak season. STORAGE - Keep uncut melons at room temperature for two to four days or until fully ripe, then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Refrigerate cut up melon in a covered container up to 3 days. Remember that cut melons are aromatic and their smell will penetrate other foods. PREPARATION - Melon preparation is easy! Always wash melons in warm soapy water before cutting to get rid of any impurity on the rind that might be carried from the knife blade to the flesh. Simply cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Melons can be cut into halves, quarters, wedges, cubes, or scooped into balls with a melon baller. Most melons will benefit from a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavor and served at room temperature.
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