Athena Cantaloupes

Alocal Cantaloupe, the type of melon I grew up with, with its rich taste and fragrance still bring back great memories of working on the farm as a teenager – picking, sorting, counting and selling Lancaster County Athena-style Cantaloupes. Athena-type varieties, also called Mush Melons, Musk Melons or Eastern Melons, are identifiable on the outside by the subtle ribs on the slightly oblong melon. As they ripen, you can smell them! – a pleasing tropical aroma starts to become pronounced. Inside, the flesh is softer than other traditional Western Cantaloupes.

As they ripen, you can smell them! – a pleasing tropical aroma starts to become pronounced. Inside, the flesh is softer than other traditional Western Cantaloupes with extra juiciness and a sweet, rich melon flavor.

Athena Cantaloupe Tips

  • Select Athena Cantaloupes with a straw color and plenty of webbing on the rind.
  • Avoid Athena Cantaloupes with: holes, soft spots, sunken areas, large smooth spots, stems still attached the fruit or a squishy feel.
  • Ripening: Most Local Cantaloupes are picked fully ripe and are ready to eat right away. But I typically store Athena Cantaloupes at room temperature until the fruit emits a sweet tropical aroma and the end opposite the stem gives just slightly to thumb pressure. Refrigerate after cutting.