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Watermelon Tips!

September 5, 2011 · 41 comments

in Home & Garden, Misc Tips

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Inspect the rind.  Make sure the watermelon rind is not bruised  or soft anywhere.
  6. 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

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
Watermelon is such a wonderful food.  It is comprised of about 90 percent water, yet also provide Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber, and Lycopene.  There are few foods available that are so delicious, refreshing, and are allowed on most diet plans!  So, get out there and use all your new knowledge to pick up a wonderful watermelon today!
Got any watermelon tips?  Feel free to share and I will add them to this post.  (Giving you full credit, of course!)
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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff September 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Hey Kris, these are quite timely tips for me as I’ve got 5 (yes 5!) watermelons in my garden and I’m trying to figure out when it’s time to pick ’em.

I love those suckers so much it will be a shame to eat them….been raising them like they were my own kids!

Reply

Kris September 6, 2011 at 7:27 am

I am envious that you have grown five watermelons! I think you might be just a little sad when you pick them. After all, you raised them from little seeds, fed them, loved them, and provided them light. You have been a good gardener to those melons…

Reply

Untemplater September 6, 2011 at 3:13 am

I love these tips! I’ve always wondered how to pick a good one and have always just picked a heavy one and crossed my fingers it’d be sweet. I like the tiny volleyball size seedless ones the best. One of my fav things to do with a watermelon that isn’t sweet is to blend it and drink it like a smoothie – the fruit doesn’t go to waste, and it always tastes so much sweeter that way! -Sydney

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Kris September 6, 2011 at 7:32 am

Great idea on the watermelon smoothie. I get so frustrated when I pick a bad watermelon. I usually look so forward to eating it when I buy one in the store that I am mad when it turns out to be a giant, messy dud.

Reply

Cordelia September 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

Kris,

I have actually returned a few watermellons in my life. They were all rotten and mushy inside. Why waste $5.00?

After washing the watermelon I cut it up into little sections and put it in a plastic container. The kids can then grab a piece everytime they want instead of cutting a piece here and there and all that sticky mess drives me crazy.

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