It isn't summer until you've had your first watermelon of the season. What’s a summer picnic without a juicy, delicious watermelon?
But before we slice it open, let’s back up to when we first decided it was the right one to purchase.
Many people have no idea how to select a watermelon. They just knock on this over-sized fruit as if they know what they are doing.
Although it can be difficult to know how ripe the interior is just by inspecting the outside, there are several clever tricks you can learn to help you pick a watermelon.
Watermelon Varieties - Common Types of Watermelons
We all love watermelons, they are sweet, juicy, messy to eat and remind us of summer like nothing else does. But first all, we should know that there are many varieties of watermelons and if you are buying watermelons in the store, generally there are couple of categories.
There are four basic types of watermelon: seedless, picnic, icebox, and yellow/orange fleshed.
Seedless watermelons have tiny underdeveloped seeds, despite the name, which are easily consumed. The melons usually weigh from 10-20 pounds (4.5-9 kg.) and mature in about 85 days. Seedless melons include: Queen of Hearts; King of Hearts; Jack of Hearts；Millionaire; Crimson; Trio; Nova.
Picnic watermelon tends to be larger, from 16-45 pounds (7-20 kg.) or more, perfect for a picnic gathering. These are the traditional oblong or round melons with a green rind and sweet, red flesh – which mature at around 85 days or so. Some varieties here include: Charleston Gray; Black Diamond; Jubilee; Allsweet; Crimson Sweet.
Icebox watermelons are bred to feed one person or a small family and, as such, are much smaller than their counterparts at 5-15 pounds (2-7 kg.). Icebox watermelons include the Sugar Baby and the Tiger Baby.
Yellow/ Orange Watermelons
Yellow/ Orange Watermelons are typically round and can be both seedless and seeded. Seeded varieties include: Desert King; Tendergold; Yellow Baby; Yellow Doll. While seedless varieties include Chiffon and Honeyheart.
8 Tips to Pick A Ripe Sweet Watermelon
If you’re like most people that have no ideas of how to pick a watermelon, although it can be difficult to know how ripe the interior is just by inspecting the outside, you can also learn some clever tricks to help you pick the perfect watermelon.
The 1st Tip: Check the Stem
If the stem is green, that means the watermelon was picked before it had the chance to become ripe, so just skip it; Instead, go with the one that looks dried. If the stem is brown that means the watermelon ripened on the vine.
The 2nd Tip: Looking for the Yellow Field Spot
The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot, known as the field spot. Look for an obvious yellow spot on the watermelon, if there is no yellow spot or a very faint white spot that means the watermelon did not have enough time to bath in the sun to become ripe.
A big yellow spot indicates a well ripened watermelon. Avoid ones with white spots, as they needed more sunbathing time before being plucked from the vine.
The 3rd Tip: Inspect the Color of the Watermelon
A perfect, ripe watermelon should be dark green in color and dull in appearance, rather than shiny. A shiny watermelon will usually be under ripe.
The 4th Tip: Press on the Watermelon
Press on the watermelon, if it has a little give to the watermelon that means the watermelon is ripe; If the watermelon is too hard and has no given you press against the skin of the watermelon that means the watermelon is not ripe at all.
The 5th Tip: Tap the Watermelon
Tap the watermelon, if it sounds hollow that means it’s filled with water; A watermelon that does not sound hollow when tapped means it does not have much water.
The 6th Tip: Check the Gender
Yes, a watermelon has a gender. The tall - or long ones - are males. If the watermelon is plump, round or stout, it’s classified as a female. Can you guess which one is the sweetest? The answer is the girl - female one.
And if it’s a bizarre shape, it indicates its growth was not an easy process as it probably struggled for sunlight and water.
The 7th Tip: Check the Size
In the case of the watermelon, the largest ones aren’t necessarily the tastiest. The best ones are average in size. So the rule of thumb is: don’t pick one too large or too small.
The 8th Tip: How to Select A Pre Cut Melon
If you’re purchasing pre cut watermelon, there are also certain things to look out for. Choose pieces with bright red flesh and dark brown or black seeds.
Avoid pieces with white streaks and an abundance of white seeds. You should also steer clear if the flesh looks dried out or mealy or is separating from the seeds.
Now, what about you? Do you have any trick to pick a perfect watermelon? Kindly comment below and share your tips. What is more, if you are still interested in watermelon cutting, please kindly check other topics below as How to cube a watermelon and The Best Ways to Cut A Watermelon.