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Selecting a sweet watermelon can be a challenge. But it doesn't have to be. Follow these seven simple steps and you'll be sure to find the perfect melon every time, whether you're shopping in the store or at your local farmers market.
One of the easiest things to look for is the shape. You want a melon that is symmetrical and almost evenly round, indicating an even distribution of juice and sweetness throughout the fruit. This can often indicate that the watermelon was well hydrated and ripe when picked. It's sure to be sweet and juicy.
Oval means less sweet. Rounder is sweeter. If you want one that is sweeter, go for the round, ball shape.
The watermelon that has one color is probably not going to be a good choice. The green should be a deep, dark rich tone. The pale part should be a creamy, light yellow.
These look like dry, weathered spots. They're very textured and rough. This means that the watermelon is going to be extra sweet.
Another key factor to consider when choosing the perfect watermelon is its weight. Pick one up and see if it feels heavy for its size. If it does, it could be the perfectly ripe melon you are looking for. This is because ripeness depends on how well hydrated the melon is, so a heavier one will be juicier and much sweeter.
While you're feeling for weight, take a good look at the melon too. That perfectly ripe watermelon should have a dull, slightly dull rind. Bright and shiny ones will not be as ripe yet, so avoid those. Check the melon’s color. It should be mostly consistent. Patches of yellow (or green) indicate that the melon wasn't given proper time to ripen on the vine and most likely won't taste sweet.
After you’ve checked the rind, it’s time to get up close and personal. Of course this sounds silly, but it actually works very well. knock on the watermelon. The sound should be a hollow thump. If it feels spongy, that means the melon isn’t ripe enough or is over-ripe. Move onto the next one in line until you find that one with just the right sound.
If a watermelon passes the knocking & thumping test, there’s still one more key step to finding your perfect summer snack. Flip the melon over and give the bottom (the spot where it was attached to the vine) a whiff. You should be able to detect an unusually sweet aroma when you do this – that means you’ve found yourself a keeper!
Of course the best melons are the ones that are in season. This is the summer months, from May to September. A good watermelon is great but a bad one is truly awful. Fortunately, with these steps, you can feel confident that the next time you choose a watermelon, you select the very best one.