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Santa Rosa grows many different melon varieties. Cantaloupes are popular because they're easy to select and very sweet.  Ripe cantaloupes have dull yellow backgrounds with raised netting.  Avoid those with protruding stems, or tears in the rind at the stem end--it's a tell-tale sign that the melon was picked too soon.  When ripe melons are picked, the stem falls off easily, leaving a small, clean depression.  After checking the stem end, flip the melon over and check the blossom end.  It should be fragrant and yield a bit when pressed.

Cantaloupe Dessert

Ingredients: 1 cantaloupe, ice cream, whipped topping

Directions: Cut cantaloupe around the middle to form two halves. Next, scoop out the seeds and pat dry. Finally, scoop your favorite ice cream into the center of the melon and top with whipped cream. Enjoy! Delicious especially in summer.

Cantaloupe Soup

Ingredients: 1 cantaloupe, peeled seeded and quartered,1 large orange, squeezed for juice, 1 grated orange rind (for garnish), ½ cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 pinch ground ginger, 1 pinch salt.

Directions: Chop melon into small pieces and place in food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add orange juice, cream, and sugar, salt and ginger. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Finally, sprinkle with grated orange peel and serve. Nice, light, and summery.