Is it even summer if you haven’t had your first watermelon yet? If you’ve been too busy to even buy your first watermelon of the season, you need to go to the store and get one right now. But now that it’s been a year, do you even remember how to pick the perfect melon for you? Did you ever really know?
It’s already a semi-anxiety plague when you are looking for the perfect watermelon. All of them look the same pretty much, but it’s what’s inside that matters the most.
There are many times you will find a watermelon that looks first-class from the outside, but when you chop it up, it would taste like a crunchy watermelon rind cucumber.
Well, our goal today is to help you pick the best sweet and ripe watermelon. We all know the unpleasant feeling to get back home and take the first bite of something that doesn’t taste exactly how we expected. To save you from that kind of disappointment, we have gathered all the tips and tricks of finding the best watermelon on the store.
Nutritional Value of Watermelon
Carbohydrates: 27g | Calories: 106kcal | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 4mg | Fat: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g
How To Pick a Good Watermelon?
Tip 1: Find the Field Spot
Picking a watermelon is definitely an art. Finding the field spot is perhaps the best indicator of a good, ripe watermelon. You will see that the side where the watermelon was resting on the ground has turned to have a creamy spot on its outside. This field spot must be a creamy yellowish color.
Interestingly enough, you will see that the other side of the watermelon looks precisely the opposite; much nicer and usually what a watermelon looks like and that’s totally fine. Sometimes the best watermelons come really gnarly on the side where it was resting on the ground, whereas flawless on the other side.
The yellower the field spot is, the longer it was left on the vine for sweetening up. If the field spot is plain white, this means that it’s an underripe melon.
Tip 2: Always Pick a Dull Looking Watermelon
Now, this may come off as a huge surprise, but it’s all true. A dull looking watermelon is what’s riper, whereas, a shinier one indicates an underripe melon. However, don’t forget to inspect its color. Normally, a muted dark green colored watermelon is the perfect pick for you.
Tip 3: Knock on it a Little with Your Knuckles
When buying a watermelon, you need to weigh it between your hands, turn it over and give it a nice thwap! on its underside. The reason? Well, a solid watermelon with a hollow sound and a splotch on its belly indicate that it’s packed with juice and is at its peak of ripeness.
You should feel that your knuckles bounced off the watermelon and that its surface is pretty firm. You are likely to get a dull thud if its flesh is soft. But if it feels too squishy almost as if your knuckles are getting buried in, it means that it’s starting to spoil.
Tip 4: Get the Heaviest One Among All
Of course, we always want the big, heavy, buff one, and in case of watermelon, there shouldn’t be any compromise. So, when picking your melon, choose the one that’s the heaviest one for its size. The reason is that a juicy watermelon has a higher water content.
Fun fact: Did you know that a Carolina Cross could weigh about 351 pounds and takes only about 90 days to plant and harvest!
Tip 5: Check for its Uniform Shape
All watermelons are round, but there are several different types of rounds. Considering that some of them are oval, some are entirely round, and others are okay. Check for any irregular bumps. This means that the melon might have inconsistent amounts of sun and water while it was harvesting. Thus, chances are that it won’t be as ripe as you’d want your watermelon to be.
Tip 6: Look for the Pollination Points and Sugar Spots
By any chance, if you come across any black spots on the body of the watermelon, it means that the sugar is seeping out of there and it’s a sweet melon. Plus, if you notice dots in a line (not a scratch mark), they are called the pollination points. The more the watermelon has them, the better is. Most consumers at the grocery store keep looking for these points every time they want to buy a watermelon.
Tip 7: Know What You Should Look for When Selecting Pre-Cut Watermelons
If you are at the grocery store and you simply come across a pre-cut watermelon and start to crave for it, don’t just go grab it. There are certain things that you should look for here too.
Choose pieces that have red flesh with dark brown (or even black) seeds. Avoid the cuts that have light white streaks and are full of white seeds instead of black ones. Look carefully to see if the flesh looks dried out or is separating from its seeds.
When Is The Perfect Time to Pick the Watermelon?
If you have a backyard where you have harvested a few watermelons, now that summer is here with full force, are you wondering if it’s the right time to pick the watermelons? The answer lies in a few simple indications. The watermelon that you plant will take about 80 days or so to be ready. Therefore, you can start watching if the watermelon has turned ripe from day 75 or so. You just have to be patient enough to pick the ripest watermelon that will come to you.
Growing watermelons are fantastic, especially if you love having them during the summertime. The key is knowing when to harvest them. The plant and the fruit, both are going to give you keys of when you should harvest.
Storing and Cutting a Watermelon
It really matters how you save the watermelon, meaning, you need to store your watermelon correctly. While you can keep a whole, uncut watermelon inside the refrigerator for a week, there are specific rules of doing that correctly too.
- Avoid bruising the watermelon.
- Never store the fruit below 4 °C as it might get chilling injuries.
- If you think that the watermelon has not ripened correctly, and you want to mature it after purchase, leave it at the room temperature for a few days. The fruit will mature a little bit, but don’t take this matter for granted that it will fully ripen. Since it has been picked too soon, it will still stay a bit immature.
Wrapping It All Up
We hope we have successfully answered your query on how to tell if a watermelon is ripe. Here’s a recap in short. There are a few other general rules of thumbs like, the darker it’s color, the better the melon is, or medium-sized watermelons are better than small sized or the oversized ones. Unlike tomatoes, watermelons don’t ripen much when it sits at your home on your kitchen counter.
So avoid picking the shiniest watermelon off the supermarket aisle and know your watermelons and serve the best cuts to your friends and family this summer!
- Fruit of the Month: Watermelon – Web MD