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CANTALOUPE

Cantaloupe

Although it is not clear whether they come from Africa or Asia, melons have been known for more than three thousand years in China. The first melons were more like cucumber because of their very bitter flavor. Later, by hybridization, the melons became softer and perfumed. Their introduction in Reunion Island probably dates back from the first settlers who arrived in the island, baptized Bourbon Isle, at the beginning of the 17th century.

Cantaloupe melons range in weight from 0.5 to 5 kilograms. The name is derived via French cantaloup from Italian Cantalupo, which was formerly a papal county seat near Rome, after the fruit's introduction there from Armenia. The cantaloupe variety most likely originated in a region from Iran to India and Africa. Fragrant and sweet when ripe, it is usually eaten as a fresh fruit, in a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard.

Cantaloupe melon is an excellent source of beta carotene and vitamin C. Cantaloupe, because it is high in both fiber and moisture, helps to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract. With its high water and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is a great snack to have on hand during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration.