How To: Choose the Perfect Watermelon

Is it even summer if you haven’t had watermelon yet? One of the most difficult parts of eating watermelon, after trying to figure out how to cut the dang thing, is trying to select a good one. With a few tricks of the trade you can soon become a watermelon-selecting expert.

1. Look for the Ground Spot

Have you ever looked at a watermelon and saw a large yellow spot and tossed it aside thinking it must not be ripe yet? Well you probably missed out on a good melon. That spot is known as the ground spot. It is the area of the watermelon that rested on the ground during the growing process. Seeing this means that the watermelon had time to rest and ripen before being picked.

Unlike other fruits, watermelon does not continue to ripen after being picked. Leaving it on your counter for a few days will do nothing to increase sweetness.2.

2.  The Heavier the Better

It might be harder to get it home, but the heavier the watermelon the better. Water is heavy and the more water the sweeter the fruit. Pay attention the size, if it feels heavy for the size you should snag it before someone else does.

3. Tap it Out

You might feel a little silly going around tapping on watermelons, but you won’t regret it later when you are enjoying the fruits of your labor. Fully ripened watermelons make a deep hollow sound due to the amount of water. If it is underripe or overripe it will sound more dull.

Hold the melon away from your body and rap it with your knuckles for best results.

4. Webbing is Good

Webbing is the brown spots and lines that appear on the rind of some watermelon. While it  might seem like an indicator of unhealthy fruit, it actually should be your first indicator of a good melon. Webbing indicates that more bees pollinated the flower, the more pollen the sweeter the fruit.

5. Getting to the Rind

When scouting a watermelon, you should take a look at the pattern of the rind. An uneven pattern indicates that it experienced inconsistencies in water and sun. Because of these hardships it will most likely not be as sweet.

Another indicator is the shape. When thinking about watermelon many of us envision an oblong shape but the more round it is the sweeter it will probably be. These are known as the female versions. Male melons are more elongated and have watery taste as opposed to sweet.

6. Check the Tail

Not all melons still have them, but the tail is the little piece of vine still left on the fruit after it has been picked. If it is brown and dried, the melon was fully ripe when it was picked. However, if the tail is green it probably means that it was picked too soon and will not be as ripe.

 

On your next trip to the grocery store or farmers market, you’ll be able to pick out the very best melon based on appearance, size, and shape. If you have any additional watermelon picking tips please share them with us in the comments below!

 

 

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