I was at Whole Foods today and loved seeing all the watermelons out. I don’t know about you, but I associate watermelons with Fourth of July and Labor Day and all the summer fun in between. But if you’ve ever eaten a mushy watermelon, or one that wasn’t yet ripe (meaning tasteless) then you know that picking the right watermelon is key to truly enjoying its luscious, fruity sweetness.
How to Pick a Watermelon
Learning how to pick a watermelon is easy, but it does require some diligence on your part. After all, you’re making an investment in several pounds of fruit, so you want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Let me elaborate on the tips on the Whole Foods sign.
1. Pick up the watermelon. Like other fruits (and veggies too!), a heavier weight means it has retained a lot of water/juice/moisture. That’s what you want! Don’t read that as being a bigger watermelon–like the sign above says, it should feel heavy no matter whether it’s a large or small watermelon.
2. Look over the watermelon. You want to examine the watermelon, looking for odd bumps or bruises. (Put it back if it doesn’t feel smooth.) Don’t be taken in by a shiny watermelon–shiny equals underripe. You actually want it to look dull.
3. Find the sweet spot. Every watermelon has a yellow-ish spot on it, where it was resting on the ground while it was growing. The longer the watermelon stays on the vine, the sweeter it is, and the more creamy yellow that sweet spot will be. If it is a white-ish color, or if you can’t even find a sweet spot, that means it wasn’t allowed to stay on the vine very long at all, so you definitely don’t want that watermelon!
4. Thump it. This is what the experts do–they “thump” the watermelons to see what they sound like. Why do people thump watermelons? With a little experience, you can actually tell a difference in how they sound. This is just another tip to be sure you get a good watermelon. A dull thud is what you get when the flesh is soft–you don’t want that one. If your knuckles or thumb bounces off firm flesh, you’ll hear a more distinctive sound, telling you that you have found a keeper.
What are your tricks and tips for picking a good watermelon? Please share your ideas below!