The melon that most Americans call cantaloupe is, technically, a muskmelon. True cantaloupes have a rough, bumpy surface and are mainly grown in Europe.
Choose fruit that is well-shaped with good netting or webbing over a creamy colored rind. Select cantaloupe that feel heavy for their size and have a sweet, fruity fragrance. Melons should be firm with a little give. Overly soft rinds mean the melon is overripe.
Wash cantaloupe thoroughly before slicing. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds then use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh.