The fruit of the muskmelon or cantaloupe is mature when the stem slips easily from the melon with slight pressure. The melon is not ripe if the stem has to be forcibly separated from the fruit. Other indicators of maturity are based on touch, appearance and aroma. When ripe, the flower end (the end opposite the stem) of the melon should be slightly soft. As the fruit matures, the skin between the netting turns from green to yellow. Finally, a ripe melon produces a strong "muskmelon" aroma.
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