How To Choose the Perfect Watermelon

It is not summertime yet, but a chilled and perfect piece of watermelon is still a welcome treat, whether eaten after a meal or on its own.  It can also be used as part of a delicious salad.  Its cool and sweet meat can refresh anyone, and can provide a guilt-free snack, as it does not contain many calories. But do all watermelons look the same to you? Do you have a hard time choosing the perfect watermelon? Here are some tips.

First, choose the size of the watermelon which you need. If you are the only one who is going to eat it, there is no need for a big one. However, if you are preparing for a party, you need to choose the larger ones. Also, you may need to decide if you want the seedless type or not. When choosing which watermelon to buy, pick one with a symmetrical and round shape.

Inspect the watermelon and make sure it is free of bruises and discoloration. These could indicate that the fruit has been dropped or damaged. Make sure that the watermelon is firm to the touch because if it has soft spots, then it may be overripe already or is turning bad. The ideal color of a ripe watermelon is medium to light green. 

At the bottom of the watermelon, there should be a ring-like mark. It should be colored yellow, which means the watermelon was already ripe when it was picked from the ground. If the mark is colored green or white, then the watermelon was picked from the ground before it had ripened. Do not buy watermelons with rings like that. Take note that unlike other fruits, watermelons do not continue the ripening process once they have been picked.

Choose a watermelon that is heavy for its size. Watermelons are composed mostly of water, so if the watermelon is light, then it is probably not as juicy and fresh as it should be, as the water content is not sufficient. 

You may have seen other people in the supermarket tapping a watermelon and wondered what in the world they are doing. Tapping a watermelon is actually a good way of checking its ripeness, to check the texture of the meat inside. Hold the watermelon several inches from your ear. Tap the watermelon and listen closely to the sound it makes - whether it sounds solid or hollow. The perfect watermelon should create a hollow sound. A solid sound usually means it has not ripened enough. 

Ask the fruit vendor or the grocer if you could take a small piece of the watermelon to get a taste of the flesh inside. This is one of the foolproof ways of choosing the perfect watermelon. However, this is not allowed or done in most places. 

If you are buying pre-cut watermelon pieces, then choose those which seem to have firm meat. These pieces should be put into the refrigerator to preserve their freshness.


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