Melons are one of those fruits that are technically a vegetable. They are related to other crops that grow on trailing vines like cucumbers and squash. True cantaloupes are found more widely in Europe and the Middle East. Cantaloupes get their name from a town near Rome named Cantalupo. However, what we call cantaloupes in North America are actually really netted melons. True cantaloupes are smaller and rounder than netted melons and have tougher skin that is either smooth or scaly, nut never netted.
Selection and StorageOne thing everyone asks is how to pick a ripe melon. If you ask ten people they will all tell you something different. My go-to method for cantaloupes is to smell the indentation at the end. If it smells fruity and fragrant (rather than just like rind) than it is usually ready to eat. If not leave it on the counter a few days. For melons with thinner skins, I usually expect them to be somewhat soft on the outside when they are ripe. Not mushy, but not rock hard.
Ripe melons don't last long so eat them as soon as you can. If they aren't quite ripe, you can usually store on the counter until they ripen. Once they are ripe, move them to the fridge and they will be good for a few more days.
A perfect melon really needs very little preparation. Remove the seeds, slice and eat! However, if you want to get creative, here are some other preperation ideas: