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Great 28 Pairings: Cantaloupe


Potent in vitamins A and C, fiber, antioxidants, and potassium, cantaloupe can be considered a superfood in its own right. Cantaloupe is a type of muskmelon with webbed outer skin, which turns from green to beige as it ripens. While cantaloupes are best in late-summer, they are usually available year-round in supermarkets. When picking a melon, smell it—it should have a sweet, floral, earthy fragrance (hence why it’s called a “musk” melon). The following preparations and pairings are guaranteed to impress your friends.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Cantaloupe

OK, so we couldn’t leave out prosciutto entirely—it’s just too tasty! The combination of cantaloupe and prosciutto stems from the ancient Roman health practice of mixing cold and moist foods with hot and dry foods. Second-century Roman doctor Galen found that balancing foods that represent the elements (warm = fire, cold = air, dry = earth, juicy = water) led to the optimum diet and boosted the immune system. Melon is cold and juicy on its own—prosciutto lends the hot and dry element. Place a slice of cheese between the melon and the meat for even more decadence.

Castagna Cremolo di Bufala

+ prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe

Ekiola Ardi Gasna

+ prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe

Cantaloupe Salad

Sweet cantaloupe is emboldened when cubed over a leafy salad and paired with savory toppings. Chili, mint, citrus, and nuts or seeds are wonderful additions to start. Finish with a salty, crumbly feta or tangy blue.

Onetik Bleu des Basques

+ cantaloupe salad

Vermont Creamery Goat’s Milk Feta

+ cantaloupe salad

Cantaloupe Jam

Julia Hallman, general manager of Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recommends pairing DIY cantaloupe jam with cheese: “All you need to do is cube the cantaloupe, toss with sugar, and let it sit in fridge for a few hours before cooking the mixture down until it reaches the right consistency.” Top toast with ricotta, jam, and a drizzle of honey, or add to oatmeal then finish with crème fraîche.

Mozzarella House Ricotta

+ cantaloupe jam + honey

Bellwether Farms Crème Fraîche

+ cantaloupe jam


TASTING TIP: Cantaloupe granita makes for a super refreshing treat: Blend the flesh of one ripe melon with ¼ cup sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, and a few tablespoons of water, then freeze the mixture to shave into granita. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche whipped cream.

Kristina DeMichele

Kristina DeMichele is a digital content strategist for Harvard Magazine; her writing has appeared in Cook’s Illustrated, GRLSQUASH, and Of Juliet

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