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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

How to Pick a Good Watermelon



Watermelon is a summer fruit. It’s refreshing, delicious, and healthy. You can use it to make desserts and juice or eat it as is.

When you go on your watermelon buying adventure, you will meet with one big hurdle — how to pick a good watermelon?

From the array of watermelons before you, all of them look good, but a closer look will reveal that only some of them are worth buying.

If you are on the hunt for a sweet watermelon this summer, you need to learn how to select a good watermelon and as a bonus, we will tell you how to store it properly to make it last longer.

Sliced Watermelon

10 Tips to Bringing a Worthy Watermelon Home

The following ten tips will tell you how to pick a good watermelon:

1. Look for the Field Spot

The creamy spot on the outside of the watermelon is the field spot. The field spot is where the resting spot of the watermelon. Before it was picked up from the ground, it was resting on the ground. The part that the fruit is resting on turns a yellowish, creamy color.

When you examine the other side of the fruit, you will see that it appears completely different from it. The other, greener side of the watermelon is what you are normally used to seeing. You should always buy the watermelon the looks the most blemished over the ones that look less blemished.

The darker the yellow spot on the fruit is, the longer the watermelon stayed on the vine before it was picked from it. In comparison to other watermelons with a lighter yellow spot, the darker yellow spot indicates that the sweetness meter of the fruit. If the field spot you find is white or there is no field spot at all, do not buy it, as it is not ripened yet.

2. Select a Watermelon with a Dull Appearance

You need to select a watermelon that looks dull from the outside, as one that does not look dull, will not be sweet. Follow the same strategy when you are out to buy honeydew melons.

3. Look at the Color of the Watermelon

Another trick to picking a watermelon is to judge its sweetness by its color. Do not buy light colored watermelons, but always ones that dark green in color with lighter stripes.

4. Place Your Thumb on the Watermelon

You need to place your thumb on the opposite side of the stem and press lightly. When you press gently, the skin should not yield too easily. If it does, the watermelon is too mushy and ripe with a dry consistency.

5. Smell the Watermelon

Pick up the watermelon in your hands and smell it. If the watermelon smells slightly sweet, it is a winner. You can use the smell test for other fruits like cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple.

6. Examine the Tail of Watermelon

If the watermelon has a tail, it is a good idea to look at it. A dried tail indicates that it is a good watermelon to buy, as it is ripened and sweet. If the fruit’s tail is light green, it indicates an unripe fruit, as it was picked from the vine too soon.

7. Use Your Knuckles to Knock on the Watermelon

With your knuckles, knock on the watermelon. If your knuckles bounce off the fruit, it is good to buy. The knuckle tests the hardness and firmness level of the fruit. If the flesh of the watermelon is soft, your knuckles will not bounce off the fruit. This means it will be dull thud, which is a sign of a fruit that is beginning to spoil.

8. Look for the Heaviest Watermelon for Its Size

You need to select the heaviest watermelon for its size. This means that watermelon contains a lot of water. You can perform the heavy test with other fruits as well.

9. Watermelon Should Have a Uniform Shape

Watermelons come in two different sizes. Some are oval whereas others are round. If you find irregular bumps on the watermelon, this indicates that the fruit may have received inconsistent amounts of either water or sun.

10. Look for Pollination Points and Sugar Spots on the Watermelon

Look for dots in a line, but not a scratch. These dots in a line are called pollination points. The more pollination points you find on the watermelon, the sweeter it will taste. Look for black spots on the watermelon.

From those black spots, sugar has been seeping out. You should buy that watermelon, as it will be sweeter than the ones without it. Once you have selected a watermelon and brought it home, you need to store it properly in your home to make it for a few months.

The Best Way to Store Watermelons

You need to store watermelons in a dark and cool basement. If you cannot store it in the basement, you need to place it in the fridge. This storage method prevents the fruit from rotting. The watermelon will remain fresh.

If you have cut your watermelon, you need to wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in the fridge. If you have cubed or balled the watermelon, place it in a plastic container with a tight seal. If you have sliced your watermelon, use a plastic wrap to conceal its exposed edges.

Storing your watermelon using these different ways means that flavors and scents of other items in the fridge will not mix in with the fruit. Your watermelon should last you a week if cut, sliced, or cubed.

Anyone who loves to eat watermelons should follow these picking and storage tips. You should try to eat your watermelon with a week at least. If you are unable to eat it for some reason, just make juice out of it. The next time you go to the market to buy a watermelon, you need to perform these tests to ensure the watermelon you bring hope tastes sweet and just right.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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