The cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) is an orange fleshed, netted-rind melon in the Cucurbitaceae family (which includes nearly all melons and squashes, including the cucumber). They are also known in different parts of the world as rockmelons, muskmelons, or mushmelons.
The cantaloupe is typically eaten raw in fruit salads, or wrapped with prosciutto in a common Italian antipasto. They can also be pureed into fruit soups or made into sorbets. Cantaloupes have a distinctive musky-sweet aroma and sweet flesh, though it can be hard to determine ripeness based on the aroma of the whole fruit -- shippers will often wash the fruit with a dilute bleach solution, which reduces musky aromas.