Those weirdo people you see at the grocery store knockin’ on watermelons? Yeah, I’m one of those. I’m a proud thumper, and sometimes I get pretty excited when I know I’ve got a BALLER watermelon in my hands. My goal today is to help you pick superstar watermelons too, because I know how disappointing it is to get home, take your first bite of some sort of produce you buy, only to find out it sucks. And to make matters worse, you would have 15-20 whopping pounds of watermelon terribleness. Let’s try to avoid that. There are several signs that point to a good watermelon, so let’s stroll through them:
1. Pick a dull looking watermelon. A shiny appearance indicates an underripe melon. This applies to honeydew melons too.
2. Find that field spot. This is a 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, like shown with my watermelon:
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 underripe melon.
3. What’s all that knockin’ about? A dull thud indicates an underripe 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.
4. Pick that bugger up. Is it 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. The watermelon pictured here in my post was a whopping 18 pounds! It was heavier than the other comparably sized melons around it.
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.
There’s your guide to watermelon picking success. Now get out to those grocery stores and don’t let that big truckload of watermelons intimidate you!
Oh, and while you’re here, here’s how I cut mine up, so it’s in delicious little chunks that are easy to eat out of a bowl in the fridge:
Cut the top and bottom off so it can lay flat on a cutting board.
Run a sharp knife down the sides, taking the rind off.
Cut it into the desired number of disks, then cut it up into chunks.
Then play watermelon jenga!