Most people love a fresh, tasty watermelon. One thing I have found though is picking out a watermelon can be difficult. Quite often, I have grabbed a melon and cut it open at home, only to find a mushy mess inside. I am always tempted to pack that watermelon up and take it back to the store for a refund, but I never have. I would probably destroy the upholstery in my car if I did such a thing, and that would pretty much negate the five dollars I would be getting back from the store…
Now, there are no guarantees in life, and always selecting a perfect watermelon is just one of those things where you try your best at. However, if you follow the tips listed below, your odds of bringing home a watermelon you would be willing to serve to guests (as opposed to whipping off your roof and watching it explode), should increase dramatically.
Tips For Buying Watermelon:
- Make sure there is a whitish/yellow patch on the watermelon. As far as I know, all watermelons grow on the ground, which leaves a section of the rind that will be whitish yellow if the melon is allowed to ripen on the ground. If you pick up a watermelon and you can not figure out where it laid on the ground, then set that under-ripe melon down and find a new melon to buy.
- Tap on that melon! A nice, fresh watermelon should NOT have mushy spots. The flesh should be nice and firm, and if you ‘knock’ on it, your hand should not make indentations and your hand should ‘rebound’. It should also make a nice hollow sound.
- Bright is bad! Quite often, the untrained eye will gravitate toward a nice, bright green watermelon. Well, only buy that piece of fruit if you want to eat an unripe melon! Make sure your melon is green and not getting yellow (except for the ‘ground spot’), but make sure it is more of a deep green that is somewhat ‘dull’, and not bright and shiny.
- Make sure it is heavy. Yes, most watermelons are naturally somewhat heavy. However, make sure it is heavy for its size. Nobody wants to cut open a watermelon that is light like a gourd! The heavier the better, as that implies the watermelon will be nice and juicy inside.
- Inspect the rind. Make sure the watermelon rind is not bruised or soft anywhere.
- Make sure you are looking in the right watermelon bin! If you swear by seedless watermelon, then make sure you are paying attention and not picking up melons from the ‘seedy’ section. Keep in mind though if you only eat organic- seedless watermelons are generally NOT organic, so you might have a tough decision to make! (Although this may depend on your definition of organic. Seedless watermelons are grown by chemically altering the seed that will be planted so that the number of chromosomes in the fruit are reduced. Somehow, this creates a seedless watermelon. However, seedless watermelons can be purchased that have not been grown with the help of pesticides and such.)
Tips For Watermelon Storage and Preparation
- Leave the watermelon at room temperature if it still needs to ripen some. Once it seems appropriately ripe, you should store it in the refrigerator to prevent the fruit from spoiling. (If the watermelon is cut, place it in the refrigerator immediately.)
- Wash the watermelon before eating. Yes, it is a chore to lug a giant watermelon under the faucet and wipe it down. However, if you don’t want to drag all those germs and bacteria that are on the outside into the watermelon flesh when you cut it, you have to wash it. (There is true for cantaloupes too.)
- Buy watermelon that is stored inside. Most people prefer a nice, cold piece of watermelon. However, giant melons can take a loooong time to cool down. So, resist the urge to grab a melon that is sitting outside on display in front of the store if you plan on eating the watermelon soon.