- Food and Cooking
How to Pick a Good Watermelon
There isn't much better than a sweet, juicy, perfectly ripe watermelon. However, all watermelons aren't created equal.
I've been disappointed with many watermelons that I've brought home from the supermarket or produce stand. After bringing home one too many disappointing watermelons, I decided to learn how to pick a good watermelon once and for all.
When choosing a watermelon, there are a number of characteristics that indicate how good the fruit is likely to be.
Characteristics of Good Watermelons
The first thing you need to check is the shape of the melon. A good watermelon has a symmetrical shape. It doesn't matter if the fruit is round or oval in shape, as long as it is symmetrical.
It is also a good idea to press the skin of the watermelon in many different spots to test for firmness. Good watermelons will not have soft spots.
While looking at the exterior color of a melon isn't sufficient to determine if a melon will be good, dark green melons tend to be sweeter than those that are lighter in color.
When you pick up the melon, pay attention to how heavy it is. Watermelons are more than 90 percent water, so the most juicy melons are going to be the ones that seem very heavy for their size.
How to Check For Ripeness
There are several different ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe.
- Look on the bottom of the melon. You will find a discolored spot where the melon was in contact with the ground while it was growing. If this spot is light green, the melon is not yet ripe. If the spot is a yellowish-white color, the melon is probably ripe.
- You can also test for ripeness by scratching the surface of a watermelon with your fingernail. A greenish-white color beneath the outermost layer of the rind indicates a ripe watermelon.
- You can also tell if a watermelon is ripe by thumping it, if you know what you are listening for. When you thump the side of a ripe watermelon, it will sound as if the fruit is hollow. If you hear a thud or a tone that is high in pitch, you're dealing with a fruit that isn't ripe.
Interesting Fact About Watermelons: Don't buy a watermelon that you know isn't yet ripe thinking it will be ripe by the time you eat it. Watermelons do not continue to ripen once they have been picked.