It isn't summer until you've had your first watermelon of the season. Chances are, though, that it's been about a year since you've bought your last watermelon. Do you remember how to pick out a good one? Did you ever really know? Here's what you need to look for in order to spot the perfect picnic-worthy specimen.
There's a definite art to picking the very best watermelons. It involves weighing the watermelon between your hands, turning it over, and giving it a firm thwap! on the underside. Why? A heavy watermelon with a splotch on its belly and a hollow sound means it is brimming with juice and at the peak of its ripeness.
Lucky for you, buying watermelons at a farmers market takes out much of the guesswork: Farmers know their business and will only harvest watermelons for sale when they're truly ripe. When in doubt, ask the farmer to pick a melon for you. At a farmers market, you can also taste a sample and feel confident that the watermelon you take home will taste the same.
How to Pick a Watermelon
- Pick it up: Big or small, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size.
- Look for the yellow spot: Watermelons develop a splotch where they rest on the ground. When this splotch is creamy yellow, it's ripe.
- Give it a thump: Tap the underbelly of the watermelon. A ripe one will have a deep hollow sound. Under-ripe or over-ripe melons will sound dull.
Use That Watermelon!
Do you have any other tips for picking the ripest watermelon from the bunch?