Selecting The Tastiest Ripe Watermelon

When it's hot outside, few things satisfy like a cold slice of crisp watermelon. Watermelons are probably the hardest fruit to choose because it's green when it's unripe, it's green when it's ripe, and it's green when it's overripe. Pick the right watermelon and you'll be rewarded with deep red flesh bursting with juice and sweet goodness. Picking the wrong one and you will find a disappointing pale-pink interior with an equally lackluster flavor.

A watermelon does not continue to ripen -- like most other fruit -- once it has been picked. It will not ripen up within a few days of purchasing. So it is important to pick the right one!

Fortunately there are ways to tell when a watermelon is ready to eat and tastes it's best. Using all of the following ways will ensure you select the tastiest ripe watermelon.

Perform the thump test

If you thump on the top of a watermelon with your finger, and you hear a dull thud, the fruit should be ripe. The problem with using only the 'thump test' as the way to choose a watermelon is, a dull thud sound can also indicate a watermelon that's overripe. So you need to use some additional methods to choose the tastiest watermelon ever.

Inspect the rind

Look for a firm, nicely-shaped watermelon. The rind should be rather dull green in color and slightly rough to touch, with no dents, cuts, bruises, or soft spots in it. A watermelon that's ripe and ready to eat will have a cream or yellow -- not white -- spot on its bottom where it sat on the ground in the field, ripening in the sun. This means it stayed on the vine until it was fully ripened. Look at the color on the top. The watermelon is ripe when there is little contrast between the stripes. You want to avoid a melon that's either shiny or opaque.

Check the weight

Choose the heaviest watermelon, it will be more flavorsome. You want a melon that's heavy for its size; the heavier the melon, the juicier it is. Hold the watermelon in your hands and feel its weight. Pick up a few other watermelons and compare their weight to it. Since watermelons are 92% water, the best fruit should feel heavy for its size, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Inspect pre-cut watermelons

Watermelons that have been cut into slices or section should be refrigerated or be placed in ice to keep it fresh. The watermelon flesh should be bright red in color and moist. It should also be firm and not mushy or watery. Stay clear of a watermelon that has white streaks in the flesh, or has a pinkish flesh or looks dry.

By following these simple suggestions, you can enjoy the tastiest, ripe watermelons of the season!

Related Links:

Handling and Storing Watermelon

Freezing Watermelon

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