How To Pick The Perfect Watermelon
Choosing a ripe and sweet watermelon can be a daunting task, but with the right tips, you can ensure that you pick the perfect one every time. Here are some guidelines to help you select a delicious watermelon that will satisfy your taste buds.
Uniform Size and Weight
When selecting a watermelon, look for one that is a uniform size, whether it is oval or round. Avoid melons with irregular bumps as they may have received inconsistent amounts of sun or water. Additionally, choose a watermelon that feels heavy for its size. A heavier watermelon typically indicates that it is sweeter and has a higher water content, making it juicier and more flavorful.
Field Spot Color
Inspect the field spot of the watermelon, which is the creamy patch on its surface where it rested on the ground. A deep yellow or orange field spot suggests that the watermelon is ripe and full of flavor. On the other hand, a white or light-colored field spot indicates an underripe melon.
Webbing and Sugar Spots
Look for larger “webbing” or “sugar spots” on the watermelon’s skin. These spots indicate that the melon is seeping out sugar and is likely to be sweet. Additionally, check for black spots on the melon, as they also signify sweetness. The presence of dots in a line, known as pollination points, is another indicator of a flavorful watermelon.
Choose a watermelon with a dull exterior rather than a shiny one, as a shiny appearance can indicate an underripe fruit. When knocking on the watermelon, listen for a deep, hollow sound, which suggests ripeness. Avoid melons with soft spots or a dense, high-pitched sound when tapped.
Shape and Stem
Opt for a watermelon that is round and evenly shaped, as rounder melons tend to be sweeter. Avoid watermelons with irregular lumps or bumps. Inspect the stem of the watermelon, which should be dry and yellow-brown, indicating ripeness. A green stem may signify an underripe fruit.
Choose watermelons during their peak season, which typically lasts from May to September, for the best flavor and quality. Selecting a ripe and sweet watermelon requires attention to detail and knowledge of the key indicators of ripeness. By following these tips, you can confidently pick the perfect watermelon every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do watermelons ripen after picking?
Watermelons do not continue to ripen once harvested. It is essential to select a ripe watermelon at the store, as it will not ripen further once picked.
Should watermelon be refrigerated?
Whole watermelons should be stored at room temperature, while cut watermelons should be refrigerated to maintain freshness. Uncut watermelons can last on the counter for 7 to 10 days.
How long do watermelons from the store last?
Uncut watermelons can last on the counter for 7 to 10 days. Once cut, watermelons should be consumed within 3 to 4 days when refrigerated.
Can you freeze watermelon?
Watermelon can be frozen for use in beverages or recipes, but the texture may change upon thawing. Frozen watermelon can be blended into slushies or used as ice cubes for drinks.
What if I don’t want to throw away the rinds?
Watermelon rinds can be pickled and served as a relish, offering a unique and flavorful way to utilize the entire fruit. Pickled watermelon rinds are a popular Southern dish that can be enjoyed as a side or condiment.