The fruit names cantaloupe and muskmelon are used somewhat interchangeably. What is generally called cantaloupe in the west is really a muskmelon, characterized by a webbed surface. Cantaloupes have a smooth and lumpy skin with deep ridges. Cantaloupes were cultivated in Egypt's Nile valley as early as 2000 B.C.
Did you know
that cantaloupes and melons are in the same gourd family as squashes and cucumbers. Most melons have similar structure to winter squash with thick flesh and inner seed-filled midsection. The difference between melons and squashes is very simply, it's the way that they are used. Squashes are considered vegetables, while cantaloupe melon is fruit, with sweet and juicy flavor.