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How To Pick…Watermelons

Courtesy of Urban Next

Watermelons are a wonderful and versatile fruit. They are great as a refreshing snack on a hot summer’s day, great for adding into your yogurt and also you can bake with them. All that and much more are possible from this wonder fruit. How you tell if a watermelon is ripe or not? This guide will help eliminate the guess work when picking out the perfect watermelon.

Facts about Watermelons:

* Watermelons are related to cantaloupes, squash and pumpkins and other plants that grow on vines and on the ground.

* Watermelons can be round or oblong or spherical.

* Most have thick rinds that are often spotted or striped.

* There are over 1200 varieties of watermelon and their weight can range from a few pounds to over two hundred pounds.

* They are an excellent source of Vitamin A- which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant)-, Vitamin C -good for the immune system, healing wounds, promote healthy teeth and gums and Vitamin B6 –which helps brain function and for converting protein into energy and other important nutrients for the body.

Picking out the Perfect Watermelon:

1. It should have a firm texture and have a symmetrical shape with no major bruises or any scarring.

You’ll need to carefully examine the entire watermelon for any signs that it’s a bad melon. Watermelons do have a thick rind or skin that protects the fruits

flesh and keeps sealed their tasty flavor. When watermelons are ripe the rind will have a nice dark green color.

2. Turn the watermelon over and check out the bottom. There should be a yellow spot which is also known as the ground spot as they sat on the group soaking up the sun and nutrients.

If the spot is another color, i.e. white or greenish, the watermelon was probably picked too soon and wouldn’t be as rip as it should be. At the bottom of the melon if you see saps coming out of the melon don’t be too grossed out. This is an indication that a bee found the watermelon and extracted some of its sweet nutrients for its hive. This is a sign that the melon is ripe, juicy and sweet.

3. When you’re picking out a watermelon they should be relativity heavy compared to their size.

Watermelons are 92% water so if they are surprisingly heavy that’s a good sign!


4. After picking up the watermelon thump the side with your knuckles.

This ‘thump test’ is a point of contention when picking out watermelon the Some people claim that if the watermelon makes a hollow sound then it’s ripe. If you’re confident in your hearing then for the thump test do the following:

A. Hold the melon away from your body and give it a few good raps with your knuckles.

B. Listen for a hollow sound. If it has a deeper sound than that, then it’s not ripe and just full of water. This can be caused because the center has been separated into chunks caused either by pollution, farmers picking it too quickly or too much fertilizer. This condition is known as ‘hollow’ heart or if you come across this a broken heart – a non-quality watermelon.

The next time you’re at the grocery store or the local farmers market and watermelons are available you will have the skills and the knowledge to pick out the perfect melon so you and your entire family will enjoy this superb fruit.

About the Author:  Jeremy enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He writes on behalf of EasyApplianceParts, an online retailer of appliance replacement parts.

Wondering how to pick out other fruits and vegetables check our weekly series or suggest a fruit/vegetable. Ask your local produce manager what to look for when picking fruits and vegetables. Most of them are more than knowledgeable about what to look for AND most will give you a sample if you ask. The stores would rather you give you a sample and make sure you are happy with your purchase than lose a customer or have to replace produce that was less than perfect.