Cantaloupe, a variety of melon of the cucumber family. It is eaten as a breakfast, salad, or dessert fruit. European cantaloupes have hard, warty rinds and orange flesh. American varieties have softer rinds and orange to light-green flesh. The fruit has a musky smell. The plant is a sprawling vine. The cantaloupe is probably native to Central Asia, but was named for Cantalupo, Italy, where it was introduced from Armenia in the 16th century.
The cantaloupe belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. The American cantaloupe is Cucumis melo reticulatus; the European, C. melo cantalupcnsis.Cantaloupes have juicy, orange flesh and a yellowish rind with a netlike skin.