How to Pick a Perfect Watermelon
Few things are more disappointing than bringing home a tasteless watermelon. Avoid ever having to feel the remorse of wasting one again by learning how to pick a perfectly ripe watermelon from the bunch. A few simple visual and audible (yes, really) indicators are all you need to help ensure you leave the grocery store with the sweetest and most flavorful melon every time.
Look for stripes.
The coloring of your watermelon helps indicate the ripeness of the fruit. You should pick a melon that has a strong, consistent stripe pattern. The green stripes should be a deep, dark green, while the pale stripes should be a creamy, light yellow. Additionally, you may want to choose a dull looking watermelon. If the melon is very shiny, it is likely underripe.
Find the field spot.
Probably one of the most important indicators of the quality of the watermelon is the field spot of the melon. Inspect your watermelon and locate the large, discolored spot on the surface, also known as the field spot. This marking shows where the watermelon sat on the ground as it ripened. As a rule of thumb, the color should be creamy and yellow. If it's white or light yellow, you may want to choose another one.
Inspect the stem.
In order to choose a watermelon that has had sufficient time to ripen and mature, you will want to inspect its stem that should be dry and yellow-brown. A green stem may signify that the watermelon is not yet ripe and will lack flavor and sweetness.
Knock on it.
Though your fellow grocery shoppers may shoot you an inquisitive look, knocking on your watermelon may help you choose the best one. Give your fruit a gentle tap and listen to the sound it makes. If the pitch sounds deep and hollow, that indicates that the fruit has more water and is likely riper. By contrast, if your knock sounds denser it may be a sign that your rind is too thick and your fruit has not fully ripened to its optimal state.
Spots are a good sign.
Dry weathering spots and vein-like webbing lines are great indicators of an extra sweet watermelon. These spots show where sugar has been seeping out of the fruit. Thus, make sure to inspect all sides of your melon before you commit to one.
Choose the heaviest one for its size.
Get a quick workout in while you shop and lift the watermelons at the store to pick the perfect one. When raised, they should feel heavier than they look. The denser it is for its size, the higher the water content, resulting in a sweeter watermelon.
Select the right shape.
Look for a watermelon that is rounder and more evenly shaped, as opposed to an oval one. The rounder melons are sweeter, while the more oval ones tend to be watery and less flavorful. Also, make sure to inspect the surface for any irregular lumps and steer clear of those as well.
Buy when they're in season.
As much as you may want to eat watermelon all year round, the best time to purchase this fruit is during its peak season, which lasts between May and September. Now get ready to pick the best of the best and enjoy this low-calorie, hydrating and healthy treat all summer long.
This Story Originally Appeared On realsimple