Watermelon: How to Pick a Good One
I love watermelon. I remember my grandfather cutting giant melons on his front porch and giving all the grandkids a slice. Back then all the watermelons had seeds that we spit out on the grass. Melons were also a lot bigger. They often weighed over 20 pounds and sold for around $.06 a pound!
It’s still hard to pick a good watermelon. Here are some suggestions I found:
- Choose watermelons that are symmetrical with no soft spots. Odd bumps and curves can mean it was grown with irregular runs of water or sun.
- Look for a creamy patch. It’s called the ‘field spot’ — the place where the watermelon rested on the ground. The deeper in color, the longer the fully grown melon was on the vine getting sweet. A yellow field spot is better than white, but white is better than no patch at all.
- Pick it up. Your watermelon should feel heavy for its size. Compare its weight with one of similar size.
- Thumps, slaps, raps…some people think they can tell if a watermelon is ripe by listening. PCC Natural Markets has a video on selecting the perfect melon if you want to learn more about the listening method.
When you get your melon home make sure you wash it. According to the FDA, you should wash all fruits and vegetables under clean, running water before eating them. This is true for all fruits and veggies–rinds or not! You should also use clean knives and cutting surfaces, and make sure you have washed your hands prior to preparing the watermelon for eating.
Buy a dud? Return it!
If you get an unripe or over-ripe melon home, take it back and get another one or your money back. I called 4 local grocery stores today (Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, Fareway and Dahls) and they all said they would refund or replace the melon. It is best if you have your receipt with you.
Feeling creative and interested in making a fun watermelon display? Check out the watermelon carvings posted by the ©National Watermelon Promotion Board for some neat ideas.