Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe, Fully Explained


by Erin Marissa Russell

Ready to find out how muskmelons and cantaloupes compare? First things first: Cantaloupes are muskmelons. Muskmelon is a category that includes, in addition to cantaloupes, honeydew, Persian melon, and Santa Claus melon. There’s lots more to learn about cantaloupes and the muskmelon category, which we’ve explained right here in this article.

Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Botany

You may have read some contradictory information around the web that claims Cucumis melo var. Reticulatus is a muskmelon. While Cucumis melo var. Reticulatus does fall into the muskmelon category, it is actually the European variety of cantaloupe. 

All muskmelons hail from the plant family Cucurbitaceae, or the gourd family. This family also includes pumpkin, squash, watermelon, and zucchini. But within that family, there are different groups. North American cantaloupe comes from the cantalupensis group, while European cantaloupe comes from the reticulatus group. The botanical name for North American Cantaloupe is Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis, while the botanical name for European cantaloupe is Cucumis melo var. Reticulatus. The word “cantaloupe” is used to refer to both of these varieties.

growing cantaloupe

Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Appearance

As we’ve explained, muskmelon is a category of fruits that includes two varieties of cantaloupe, North American and European.

You can tell the difference between North American cantaloupe and European cantaloupe just by their appearance. North American cantaloupe has tan skin and a green rind with a net-like texture to the skin. European cantaloupe has light green skin with darker green stripes. Inside, it looks just like North American cantaloupe. Both have peach-colored fruit with a seed cavity in the center.

Honeydew melon has smooth tan skin with green flesh inside. Persian melon is more long and skinny, less spherical, and is yellow on the outside but peach inside like cantaloupes. It may have spots or stripes. The Santa Claus melon is slightly oblong, colored green, and striped on the outside like a watermelon. Inside, the flesh is pale cream or pale yellow. All these melons have seeds in the center.

Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Taste

Since muskmelon is a category containing several fruit varieties, we’ll explain what each of those tastes like.

The flavor of North American cantaloupes is more subtle than the flavor of European cantaloupes. European cantaloupes are also sweeter than North American cantaloupes.

Honeydew melon tastes a lot like a cantaloupe, except honeydew is sweeter and doesn’t contain that musky element that cantaloupes do. Persian melons are sweet like honey. Santa Claus melons are sweet with an earthy element and taste similar to a Crenshaw melon.

Muskmelon Versus Cantaloupe: Nutrition

Let’s take a look at the nutrition of each variety of muskmelon.

Cantaloupe Nutrition

Nutrition facts are for a serving size of 1 cup cubed melon.

  • Calories: 53
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 64 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin A: 29 percent of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9 percent of the RDI
  • Folate: 8 percent of the RDI
  • Niacin: 7 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 7 percent of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 5 percent of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 5 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 3 percent of the RDI

Honeydew Nutrition

Nutrition facts are for a serving size of 1 cup cubed melon.

  • Calories: 61
  • Carbs: 15 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.5 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 34 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 2 percent of the RDI
  • Potassium: 8 percent of the RDI
  • Folate: 8 percent of the RDI
  • Niacin: 4 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 9 percent of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4 percent of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 5 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 4 percent of the RDI

Persian Melon Nutrition

Nutrition facts are for one medium melon with a five-inch diameter.

  • Calories: 188
  • Total Fat: 1 gram
    • Saturated Fat: 0.3 grams
    • Trans Fat: 0 grams
    • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
    • Monounsaturated fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 88 mg
  • Potassium: 1474 mg, 42 percent of the RDI
  • Total Carbohydrates: 45 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugars: 43 grams
  • Protein: 4.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 373 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 338 percent of the RDI
  • Calcium: 3.8 percent of the RDI
  • Iron: 6.4 percent of the RDI

Santa Claus Melon Nutrition

Nutrition facts are for a serving size of 1 cup cubed melon.

  • Calories: 48
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
  • Sugar: 10 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
    • Saturated: 0 grams
    • Polyunsaturated: 0 grams
    • Monounsaturated: 0 grams
    • Trans: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 15 mg
  • Potassium: 500 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Vitamin A: 0 percent
  • Vitamin C: 0 percent
  • Calcium: 0 percent
  • Iron: 0 percent

To sum up, we’ve learned that muskmelon is a category including North American and European cantaloupes along with honeydew melon, Persian melon, and Santa Claus melon. We’ve reviewed how to differentiate each melon by appearance, taste, and nutrition. Now you’re ready to shop for fruit or seeds to grow your own melons in your garden.

Learn More About Differences Between Muskmelon And Cantaloupe

https://www.almanac.com/fact/whats-the-difference-between-a-cantaloupe-and

https://www.gardeningdream.com/difference-between-cantaloupe-and-muskmelon/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/muskmelon-vs-cantaloupe#muskmelon-vs-cantaloupe

https://www.mashed.com/386433/heres-the-difference-between-muskmelon-and-cantaloupe/

https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/cantaloupe-vs-muskmelon

https://www.tipsbulletin.com/muskmelon-vs-cantaloupe/

https://www.tripboba.com/article_health_muskmelon-vs-cantaloupe-how-do-you-differentiate.html

The post Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe, Fully Explained appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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