How to pick the perfect watermelon

Watermelon season in Florida runs from April to July.

While watermelon is a favorite summertime fruit, sometimes they don’t live up to the standard of being sweet and juicy as most people prefer.

However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are ways to tell whether a watermelon is ripe without cutting it open.

Here are tips on how to pick a perfect watermelon while grocery shopping:

Look for a field spot

The yellow spot on most watermelons, also known as the field spot, is where the watermelon rested on the ground while it was growing.

These spots range from white to a creamy yellow, or even orange-yellow. Don’t let those spots fool you though; look for the more yellow spot to find a ripe watermelon.

Ignore your urge to avoid buying “ugly” food. Studies show if food is visually attractive, consumers find the meal to be better and tastier compared to the exact same food with a less appealing appearance.

Fruit and vegetables, which vary in appearance due to multiple factors, have the highest wastage rates of any food. Keep in mind the yellow spot is a good thing for ripe watermelons before your let your eyes and mind trick you.

Look for webbing

The green skin on the outside of the watermelon, commonly referred to as the rind, may have what look like brown scuffs or “webbing.”

The web-like discoloration is from pollination. Insects, most commonly bees, are needed for successful pollination. The more frequently bees pollinate the flower during the fruit’s growth, the sweeter the watermelon.

In search of the perfect watermelon, the more webbing the better.

Pick a gender

Watermelon farmers differentiate watermelons by gender.

The “boy” watermelons are bigger, have an elongated shape, and tend to be waterier in taste.

The “girl” watermelons are rounded in shape and are typically sweeter in taste.

Look at the size

It’s taught from a young age that “bigger is better,” and while that may be true for most things, it’s not necessarily true when it comes to picking a perfect watermelon.

Try to pick one that’s not too big, but not too small. An average sized watermelon is best.

No matter the size, be sure to pick a heavy watermelon for its size.

Inspect the tail

Look to the watermelon’s stem or “tail” as another way to see the ripeness of the watermelon.

If the tail is green, the watermelon probably was picked too soon and will not be ripe. If the tail is brown and dry, the watermelon is ripe.

Now that the perfect watermelon can be picked out at the grocery store, try this watermelon snack for the Fourth of July and this watermelon keg for fruity drinks. 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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