Kernersville, NC -- Kids want to know all types of things. Juliana from Kernersville asked, "Why do cantaloupes have those strange markings?".
Yes, they simply grow that way. But there's more to the story! Karen Neill with NC Agriculture Extension Office said, "The markings are called netting. The small cantaloupes, you can hardly see it, it looks green."
Karen explained that the netting's roughness makes the eating of the fruit unlike other fruits. "You need to wash this fruit even though you're not eating the outside. It's because this netting holds bacteria like ecoli, listeria. And if we cut the fruit and then handle it, the bacteria could get to the part you're eating."
Did you know North Carolina produces more than 1,900 pounds of cantaloupe a year valued at more than $20 million?
HOW TO PICK A GOOD CANTALOUPE
*Look for a light golden color - this indicates better quality than a green tone.
*The stem end should have a slight indentation and the fruit will give off a sweet fragrance at room temperature.
*Grayish, fuzzy spots on the rind are indicators of older fruit and poor quality; steer clear of these.
HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR PRODUCE
*For a longer shelf life, do not wash cantaloupes before storage.
*Uncut melons can be left out at room temperature for several days or until fully ripe. Once completely ripened, store cantaloupes in the refrigerator.
'*Store cut cantaloupe pieces in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days (depending on the level of ripeness when it was purchased). Do not leave cut pieces out at room temperature for more than two hours
WFMY News 2