European cantaloupes, shown here, are different from the American version. In the U.S., the cantaloupe is the most popular melon. / Florida Food & Farm file photo

The cantaloupe has many bragging rights — among them, tasty, healthful, popular. But it’s versatile, too, and it can even serve as a bowling ball in a pinch.

Here are five fun facts about this melon.

Five fun facts about cantaloupes

1) The American name for “cantaloupe” is misleading, and a lot more pleasant-sounding than its actual moniker: “reticulated muskmelon.” (The European version of cantaloupe — the true cantaloupe — looks different from ours, with “ribbed pale-green skin”) (thehumblegardener.com).

2) The American cantaloupe’s name actually derives from “the town of Cantalupo, Italy, where cantaloupe seeds arrived from Armenia and were planted in the Papal Gardens in the 16th century” (thehumblegardener.com).

3) Thank Cristobal Colon — er, Christopher Columbus — for our cantaloupes. He took along some “muskmelon seeds on his voyage to the Americas, spreading cantaloupe cultivation to our side of ‘the Pond'” (thehumblegardener.com).

4) The most popular melon in the U.S. is the cantaloupe. Good news: An average-size fruit contains just 100 calories.

5) How many fruits or veggies can serve as bowling balls? Well, in Norman, Okla., in 2016, “employees at Top of the World used cantaloupes and watermelons as bowling balls in a tournament to raise money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters” (newsok.com).

Nutrition facts

A one-cup serving of cantaloupe contains (draxe.com):
54 calories
0 grams fat
1 gram protein
1.5 grams fiber
13 grams sugar
13 grams carbohydrates
270 mg vitamin A (120 percent of daily requirement)
59 mg vitamin C (108% of requirement)