The Aphrodite cantaloupe is all about awakening your senses with its semi-sweet aroma. Look no further if youâ€™re looking for a new melon to add to your garden this year. Not only will your garden smell of sweet musky honey, but it also makes for a unique addition to small space gardens that can’t grow traditional cantaloupe varieties.
Ready to start growing your new favorite sweet treat? Then look no further; find the different recipes and benefits of the Aphrodite cantaloupe below.
What to Know About the Aphrodite Cantaloupe
Although the common name for this melon is an Aphrodite cantaloupe, itâ€™s part of the Eastern muskmelon family, which means itâ€™s round or oval, a little larger than the Western-type of muskmelon, and has a sutured and netted outer rind.
The word musk is Persian, meaning a kind of perfume and a perfect name for the sweet smell that the Aphrodite is known for. The word melon derives from the Latin word melopepo, meaning â€œapple-shaped melon,â€ referencing the round or oval shape that the cantaloupe usually takes.
No one really knows where the name Aphrodite came from, but itâ€™s commonly believed to reference the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, known for her love and beauty, much like the hypnotizing color of this melon’s flesh. The Aphrodite cantaloupe is closely related to the Athena cantaloupe.
Characteristics of the Aphrodite Cantaloupe
The Aphrodite Cantaloupe is about six to eight pounds, making it a few pounds heavier than its sister, the Athena. Its spherical, tope-colored net and light sutures may make it difficult to discern from other cantaloupe varieties, but its aroma is unmistakable, with its musky, lightly sweetened scent.
Once cut open, youâ€™re welcomed with a beautiful salmon-colored flesh that, when ripe, will be a welcome treat with its tender yet firm, juicy meat. Its smooth honey taste makes it sweet enough to tickle your tastebuds but not to the point of it being overwhelming.
Unlike other varieties of cantaloupe, which can be challenging to grow in your home garden due to the long vines, the Aphroditeâ€™s are shorterâ€”making it the ideal melon to grow in a smaller setting, such as a backyard garden, because it wonâ€™t take up too much room and push out the plants growing near it.
This cantaloupe is also a very hardy plant, which is why it is such a great addition to your upcoming garden. This hybridâ€™s genetic makeup has made it resistant to humidity, heat, powdery mildew, and fusarium wilt.
How to Use the Sweet Aphrodite Cantaloupe
The Aphrodite cantaloupeâ€™s honey taste makes it an excellent option for a healthy dessert that wonâ€™t be overpowering with its sweetness. You can even cut it in half during the summer and freeze it, giving it a nice chill that is perfect for a hot summer day. They also will go well in a fruit salad or even be eaten for breakfast. Due to its hardiness, itâ€™s also relatively easy to store, even once itâ€™s cut.
Kids and Snacking
Do your kids want something sweet for their afternoon snacks? Not a problem; just cut the Aphrodite into cubes and let your children enjoy a nice, sweet snack that you can approve of. You can even make your own sorbet with a little bit of lemon juice, water, and honey.
Maybe youâ€™re looking for a specialty cocktail for a certain occasion or just because you can. If that is the case, this cantaloupe martini is a great addition to your summer celebrations. All youâ€™ll need is an Aphrodite cantaloupe, fresh lime juice, honey, and sparkling water.
A cut-up Aphrodite cantaloupe is a perfect breakfast, but if you are looking for something a little more substantial and hardy, this cantaloupe is perfect for making cantaloupe bread with praline graze. This bread is nice and moist, with a texture like Pumpkin bread.
If savory is what you are in the mood for, try this grilled cantaloupe with almonds and feta.
Yes, grilling a melon might sound surprising, but this quick, easy meal only takes about ten minutes and can be eaten by itself or mixed into a bowl of greens.
If none of these sounds like your cup of tea, that isnâ€™t a problem. Here you can find several tasty treats and drinks to make with the Aphrodite cantaloupe.
Health Benefits of the Aphrodite Cantaloupe
Aphrodite cantaloupes arenâ€™t just tasty, but theyâ€™re also healthy and packed with things that are good for you. Here are some of the health benefits youâ€™ll get from eating cantaloupe.
The Aphrodite cantaloupe is low in carbohydrates and made of around ninety percent of water, second only to the watermelon, giving this melon a low glycemic index, making it an excellent option for those who need it to watch their glucose.
It’s also a great source of fiber and doesnâ€™t contain fat or cholesterol, which makes it a healthy heart option.
One serving contains almost one hundred percent of the daily amount of Vitamin C recommended by doctors and Vitamin A, which is beneficial to your eyes, skin, and bone health.
It also contains around twelve percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium, which can help with blood pressure, as well as keep your heart and immune system strong.
Some other vitamins and minerals can be found in the Aphrodite Cantaloupe as well, such as zinc, iron, folic acid, and calcium, just to name a few, making this a great, health-conscious option if you are looking for a sweet addition to your diet.
How to Grow the Aphrodite Cantaloupe at Home
Sizing and Spacing
Plant Aphrodite cantaloupe seeds 1/2 inch into the dirt and cover. Place them in groups of three or four about three inches apart. Place each group about four to six feet away from each other. The seedlings will start to appear through the well-watered soil in about seven to ten days.
Aphrodite cantaloupes require average care, maybe even a little less, as they are hardier than most vine-growing fruits.
The following sections will give you highlights on Aphrodite cantaloupe care. If you are looking for a complete guide to cantaloupe care, from planting to harvesting and storage, please check out our article Growing Cantaloupe: the Complete Guide for How to Grow Cantaloupes at Home.
Cantaloupes need eight to ten hours of sunlight a day.
The ideal soil conditions for growing Aphrodite cantaloupe are well-draining, loamy, slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0 -6.8), and amended with compost.
Aphrodite cantaloupes need consistently moist but not soggy soil, about one to two inches of water per week. If the soil becomes too dry, the cantaloupe will stop growing. If it becomes too wet, itâ€™ll create large, soft lesions on your melons, causing the fruit to ripen prematurely.
To protect the vines while watering, itâ€™s a good idea to pour the water into the soil around the growing melon instead of on top of it.
Once the Aphrodite Cantaloupe has grown to one to two inches in height, start thinning out each group, keeping only the strongest three of four seedlings.
After planting your Aphrodite cantaloupe seeds, the best way to protect them from pests such as cutworms and darkling beetles is to make sure the area around your rows of seeds keeps a clear row margin and the ditches are clear of weeds. Pests like cutworms and darkling beetles migrate using surrounding weeded areas.
Why are harvested Aphrodite cantaloupes so hard to find?
They are not grown on a large commercial scale, meaning if you do find one in a small specialty store, grab it while you can.
Is the Aphrodite cantaloupe a good crop for beginners?
Since the Aphrodite Cantaloupe is such a hardy vine-growing melon, itâ€™s a wonderful option for those who are newer to gardening and want to try something unique.
Where To Purchase the Aphrodite Cantaloupe
The Aphrodite Cantaloupe is a somewhat obscure variety, so the melon itself may be difficult to find. Although sometimes, local farmersâ€™ markets and some specialty stores may have them occasionally.
Where to Buy Seeds to Grow Your Own
The seeds for your garden, however, are pretty easy to find. You can find Aphrodite cantaloupe seeds on websites such as Amazon. You can also find seeds for Aphrodite’s sister cantaloupe, the Athena, online at Hoss Tools or even possibly at your local Home Depot.
Be sure to plant seeds soon to give your cantaloupe a nice, long growing season! Later this summer you’ll be glad you did when you’re enjoying sweet, juicy melons picked from your garden.
Experience the Lovely Flavor of the Aphrodite Cantaloupe
The Aphrodite Cantaloupe is a tasty, aromatic fruit that is a unique addition to any home garden. Its resilience and shorter vines make it a great addition to your springtime and early summer crops. Although the already grown fruit may be difficult to find, the seeds are not. Since this hybrid melon is resistant to humidity, heat, and other plant-known diseases, it will make for a great vine-growing melon in your backyard.
There are over 20 varieties of cantaloupe grown today. Visit our cantaloupe blog to learn about different kinds to grow in your garden.