Last night I went to the supermarket in search of a watermelon. I was on a mission. What I thought would be a quick trip to the market ended up taking much longer than expected. After arriving at Whole Foods Market I almost immediately spotted a bin filled with watermelons. I stood there, looking at the melons for what felt like hours. I had decision paralysis and couldn’t decide which melon to choose. We all know what a disappointment it is to take that first bite of melon only to find that it’s not sweet or ripe. I was determined to not let that happen. I asked for help and ended up learning so much from the produce department about how to find a sweet, ripe watermelon.
How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon
Watermelons, unlike other melons and fruits, don’t continue to ripen once picked.
- Check out the color. The color of the melon should be a dark green and not too shiny.
- Look at the exterior. The watermelon should be firm and not have cracks or deep scars.
- Tap it. Ripe melons will have a hollow sound when you tap the outside.
- Look at the underbelly. Look for the patch on the melon where it would have been resting on the ground (the field spot). If it’s a milky yellow color it’s most likely ripe. If it’s white it’s probably not ripe. A good rule of thumb is the darker the spot the better.
- Lift it. Lift the melon before purchasing to see if it’s heavy. If it feels heavy it’s ripe. You might want to lift a few melons for comparison.
- Shake it. Shake the watermelon and if you hear things moving around inside it’s quite possibly overripe.
- Don’t forget to buy organic when you can. Watermelon is number 32 on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.
Before you cut into your watermelon you can store it at room temperature for up to two weeks. Once cut, place the melon in the refrigerator. It will only last a few days.
Do you have any tips for picking a ripe watermelon to add to the list?