Summer is upon us, which means it is watermelon season! Do you know how to pick the best watermelon? Follow these six tips to find the sweetest and juiciest watermelon for your family to enjoy.
How to Pick the Best Watermelon
Whether you are picking a watermelon from your own garden, at the farmer’s market, or at the grocery store, there are several tips that will help you to pick the best watermelon.
To be honest, I used to not be a big fan of watermelon. But over the last few years I have improved in my watermelon selection skills and I have come to realize that a well picked, sweet and juicy watermelon is a delicious summertime treat.
How Do You Pick a Good Watermelon?
These six tips will help you find the best and sweetest watermelon that is out there! Did you know that unlike most fruits, watermelon will not continue to ripen after it has been picked? That is why it is so important to learn how to pick the best watermelon!
1. Buy in Season
This is probably an obvious thing to most people, but it is still important to keep in mind. Watermelon season typically runs from May-September. So if you are looking for the best watermelon, make sure you are buying it in season.
2. Look at the Shape
Typically round watermelons are sweeter, while elongated ones are more watery, so it is best to look for a nice round watermelon that is medium in size.
3. Inspect the Watermelon
The next step is to take a close look at the skin of the watermelon. This is where watermelon selection gets a bit interesting. Because it turns out that the best watermelons tend to not look as nice as watermelons that are not ripe.
First of all, the watermelon should have an overall dull look to it. A shiny watermelon is a watermelon that is not ripe.
Also, there should be a nice stark contrast of dark and light green stripes. Watermelons that are not ripe tend to have more dark green on them.
One of the most important things to understand is the field spot. This is spot that develops as the watermelon sits in the field during its final ripening stage. A sweet and juicy watermelon will have a nice big yellow or orange field spot on it.
Some watermelons will have a white field spot on it. A white field spot is ok, but it shows that the watermelon did not have a chance to ripen to its full potential.
If a watermelon does not have a field spot on it, stay away! That is an indication that it was picked early and is not ripe.
Another thing to look for is webbing. These are the brown lines that you see on the outside of the watermelon. While they are not pretty, they are a sign of sweet watermelon. The webbing is a result of bees pollinating the watermelon when it was in the blossoming stage.
4. Look at the Stem
The stem of a sweet watermelon should be brown in color and obviously dried out. This indicates that the watermelon was allowed to naturally detach from the vine when it was ripe and ready.
If the stem is green, this means the watermelon was cut from the vine before it was fully ripened.
5. Pick it Up
Once I have done a visual inspection of the watermelons and have a few in mind that show a nice field spot, good contrast of dark and light green coloring, obvious webbing, and a dry stem, I will then pick them up one by one and compare how heavy they are.
A ripe and sweet watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Picking them up allows me to feel the weight to decide which once is the heaviest, and therefore sweetest of the bunch.
6. Check the Sound
I think this is probably one of the most quintessential parts of picking a watermelon. As I pick them up to check the weight, I also use that as an opportunity to check the sound of the watermelon.
A sweet and ripe watermelon will have a hollow sound to it when you knock on it. A watermelon that is not ripe will have a dull sound to it (kind of like knocking on a cucumber).
Having these tips in mind when you go to pick the best watermelon will help you find the sweetest and tastiest watermelon. I hope this helps you enjoy this delightful summer treat even more!
What is your favorite way to eat watermelon? Share in the comments below!