It can be disappointing when you buy a watermelon only to come home, cut it open and find out that it is not ripe and sweet. To avoid buying an under-ripe, mealy-textured watermelon, stick with these three simple steps:
See if it feels heavy. Lift up the watermelon and see how heavy it feels. A ripe watermelon should feel heavy for its size.
Look for the spot. Watermelons have a spot where they rest on the ground. If the watermelon is ripe, this spot should look creamy yellow.
Tap it. Give the underside of the watermelon a good thump. If it has a deep hollow sound you are good to go. If it has a dull sound, most likely the melon is either under- or over-ripe.
Now that you know how to pick a ripe watermelon, let’s move to advanced courses! You’ve probably been curious about the new varietals you’ve spotted at the grocery or farmer’s market. Some fun breeds include:
Golden Midget: A lightly sweet and refreshing melon, this is the mini version of the traditional watermelon. It usually weighs about three pounds and its rind turns a beautiful golden-yellow when ripe.
Yellow Crimson: This variety is a bit sweeter and has a more honey-like flavor than the traditional melon. It looks like a regular watermelon on the outside, but its flesh is a deep golden yellow.
Moon and Stars: This variety is named for the pattern of yellow blotches on its dark green skin. It usually weighs around 25 pounds and has a few half-dollar-sized “moon” spots and lots of little “star” spots. Its flesh is deep red and has a strong, sweet flavor.
Whether you choose one without seeds for convenience or with seeds for the just fun of spitting ‘em is up to you. But if you do decide to have a seed-spitting contest, see if you can beat the record set in 1995 at the Peach and Melon Festival in Texas for a seed that was spat 75 feet and two inches!
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