When faced with a bunch of watermelons, all promising delicious juiciness inside, how do you know which one to pick?
LIKE relationships, watermelons offer no guarantees. But a little wisdom from the experts can help you choose a good one at the store.
First, find a melon that’s dull, not shiny, and uniform in shape. Odd bumps and curves can mean it was grown with irregular runs of water or sun.
Then look for a creamy patch. It’s called the field spot — the place where the watermelon rested on the ground. The deeper in color, the longer the fully grown melon was on the vine getting sweet. Yellow is better than white, but white is better than no patch at all.
FIVE TIPS FOR SELECTING A RIPE, FLAVORFUL WATERMELON
- Look for a watermelon that has bright skin, is firm, symmetrical, and free of cuts
- Find one that feels heavy for its size; “water” melons contain more than 90% water and the ripest ones have the most water
- Should not be narrower on one end or misshapen; this could mean it grew in fits and starts
- The underside should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun – rather than being picked early
- Position the melon two inches from your ear, thump or tap it with your free hand. If not ripe enough, it will sound solid; if too ripe, it will sound thick; if perfect, it will resonate as hollow