Superstar Watermelons

My favorite time of the year when I was young was summertime. Summer vacation usually meant watermelons. My job was to get the salt.

Picking out a watermelon can be such an anxiety plagued experience. Sometimes I find myself standing in front of a crate of 50 watermelons and spend just a little too much time trying to pick the best one.

If you pick a bad one, you’re stuck with 15-20 pounds of watermelon terribleness. And then your options are to either force yourself to eat this yucky watermelon or throw it away, both are less than desirable options.

So the goal today is to help you pick sweet, ripe watermelons. It can be disappointing to get home and realize you’ve picked produce that it lacking in flavor.

Here’s what to look for when selecting a Superstar Watermelon:

  1. Pick a dull looking watermelon. A shiny appearance indicates an under-ripe melon. This can apply to other melons too, like honeydew.
  2. Find the field spot. This is the creamy spot on the melon, and it’s where the watermelon was resting on the ground. The field spot should be a yellowish creamy color, the darker the color of the creamy spot, the longer it was on the vine sweetening up. If it is white (or not even there), put it back, because this indicates an under-ripe melon.
  3. Thump it. A dull thud indicates an under-ripe melon. You will get a dull thud if the flesh is soft, which you don’t want. Your knuckles should bounce off the melon, and the surface should be pretty hard and firm.
  4. Pick it up. Is the watermelon heavy for its size? Note: this applies to pretty much ALL produce. When I pick up onions for example, I pick the heaviest one for its size. That means there is lots of water in there.
  5. While you’ve got the watermelon in your arms, make sure it’s uniformly shaped. Irregular bumps indicate it may have gotten inconsistent amounts of sun or water.
  6. Pick the ugliest watermelon. The brown spider webbing also indicates sweetness.

Superstar Watermelons

Written by: Julie Anne Patrick

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