So I had to bring watermelon to my family party on Sunday. I usually get assigned the complicated strawberry spinach salad with homemade poppy seed dressing, so watermelon is a piece of cake, right? Yeah right, simple if you have a built-in advanced watermelon scoping radar.
I am at the store looking in the overloaded bin of watermelons in a total stupor. The guy next to me was tapping the melons, well, pretty much playing the drums on each one. A mom with a bunch of kids was smelling the whole crate of melons, and an old farmer guy kept turning his watermelon over and over.
Am I missing something here? Do I look for honeybee lines, color, and hollowness…? I had no idea. I did know that I didn’t want to pay fifty cents per pound for two huge watermelons that might not taste good once I got them home and sliced them open. At this point, I was determined to do my own research and find out once and for all how to choose a good watermelon.
What I found out was surprising to me, some things I already knew, but there are a few main factors in picking the perfect watermelon for a sweet, crispy treat.
- THE COLOR: the more green the melon is, the sweeter is will taste.
- THE SHAPE: a good watermelon will be symmetrical. It can be round or oval, but the important thing is the symmetry.
- THE WEIGHT: a good juicy watermelon will be heavy for it’s size.
- THE SUNSPOT: on the bottom of the watermelon, there is a spot where the watermelon sat on the ground. On a good ripe melon, the spot will be yellow. An under or over ripe melon will have a white color.
- THE SMOOTHNESS: Look for a melon with a smooth exterior and avoid long scars. The scars indicate some trauma (kinda like humans) and it could have an affect on the inside fruit.
Now, as far as playing on the drums to find out if your melon is making a high pitch sound or a hollow noise, that’s up to you to decide. The general consensus among watermelon experts is that knocking on the melon is not the best way to determine ripeness (sorry, guy next to me playing the drums on melons in the crate).
- Color (go green)
- Shape (go symmetrical)
- Weight (go heavy)
- Sunspot (go yellow)
- Smoothness (go smooth)
Do you have a secret tip for picking a good watermelon? I would love to hear!