Watermelon is light, refreshing, hydrating, nourishing, and so delicious – perfect for very sunny days! However, despite all its benefits, buying watermelon becomes a challenge because behind its solid rind, its true face hides. For this reason, many times when we get home we are faced with an unpleasant surprise: our watermelon tastes tasteless or/and is dry. But this is not the worst part, the worst is that the watermelon that is harvested before its time, no longer ripens in any way, so you will have to discard it without further ado.
Therefore, you may wonder how to know if a watermelon is good. The answer will be right before your eyes: the rind itself can tell you a lot about the state of a watermelon. To find out how to identify their signals, we will give you all the tricks you need to recognize watermelons in good condition, even if they are already cut.
Sounds Hollow When Hit
A classic trick to tell if a watermelon is good is to hit the rind of the watermelon with the knuckles of your fingers. If the fruit is ripe, it will produce a hollow but forceful sound, indicating that it contains a lot of water.
On the contrary, if you hear a soft and resonant sound, it lacks maturity and maybe dry; discard it without thinking twice.
Don’t worry if you find it difficult to differentiate between the two sounds at first, as practice makes perfect. Every time you go grocery shopping, check out many watermelons and their respective sounds until the difference is apparent.
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It Weighs More Than it Appears
A fresh and juicy watermelon weighs more than it looks. This is logical since 92% of this fruit is water. On the contrary, if it is not heavy, discard it immediately, as it did not ripen properly.
Some say that the best way to tell if a watermelon is ripe is to check its weight and girth. In this case, the watermelon should weigh about 4 kilos and have a circumference of around 24 inches. You know, in the next purchase you can check it!
It Has a Yellow Spot
Ripe watermelons show a pale yellow spot on one end of their rind. This spot is known as a ground spot since that part of the watermelon indicates the part that touched the ground in the field. Its yellow color (dark yellow or even yellow-orange) reveals the maturity of the fruit, as it confirms that it has been left on the ground to ripen in the sun.
On the contrary, if the stain is whitish or green, the watermelon is not very sweet, since it did not ripen properly because it was picked before the appropriate time. In these cases, it is best not to buy it. Finally, if the watermelon has a brown spot or spots, this usually indicates that it has fungi or insects.
Shows Scar-Like Spots
Although it is true that the more homogeneous a watermelon is and the fewer details its rind has, the better it will taste, there are certain imperfections that enrich this fruit.
For example, there are very particular spots, similar to beige scars, which are very beneficial. These types of marks indicate that the bees maintained a lot of contact with the fruit ovary during the pollination cycle.
What does this mean? As the watermelon was pollinated many more times, its sweetness will increase accordingly. That is, the more scars it has, the sweeter it will taste.
The Sweetest Watermelons are Round and Small
You may not believe it, but watermelons have gender: female and male. Consequently, female watermelons are smaller, rounder, and sweeter; while the male ones are long (oval), large, less sweet, and juicier. So if you like sweetness, go for girly watermelons.
Its Appearance is Homogeneous
Always select symmetrical watermelons, be they round or elongated (depending on their gender), that do not have bumps or deformities. Malformations in watermelons reveal a dry and fragile interior.
Why? Because the alterations in its appearance indicate that its development was inappropriate since it absorbed uneven amounts of sun and water. It also indicates that the fruit has not ripened properly because it was picked early.
It Has no Dimples in the Crust
If you detect small, deep holes in the cross-section of the watermelon or around the entire rind, it is best not to buy that fruit. They may be the traces of insects that have already damaged its interior. Another possible cause is that nitrates were injected to accelerate its growth.
In the event that the holes are not so deep, they are possible traces of the wireworm, an insect that is iniquitous for watermelon, as it does not affect its quality or taste. In this case, you could buy it without any problem.
Its Appearance is Opaque
Are the ideal fruits bright as in the advertising photos? Many times yes, but not in the case of watermelon. This fruit is better the more opaque and dark it is. On the other hand, very shiny watermelons indicate that they did not reach maturity, nor will they reach it later.
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Its Stem Looks Dry
Although usually, supermarket watermelons no longer have a stem, it is interesting to know this trick if you want to know when a watermelon is ripe on the plant. If you get a watermelon with a dry stem, it means that it has reached maturity, as it was harvested at the right time.
If, on the contrary, the stem is green and fresh, the fruit was picked early (it is not ripe, nor will it ripen), therefore its flavor and texture are not good.
How can you use this same trick on a stemless watermelon? Well, take a good look at the place where the stem was, there must be a stain there. If the stain is brown, it is ripe; if it is green, it is not good. Now you have all the tricks of how to know if a watermelon is ripe, they will surely be very useful!
How to Choose a Watermelon if it is Cut into Pieces
It will always be more hygienic to buy whole fruit than in pieces since nothing guarantees how it was handled. However, if at any time you prefer to buy chopped fruit, you can look at any of these signs to know if you are buying a good piece:
- It should not be sandy or mushy in texture. If you touch it with a finger, it should not sink easily.
- It must have darker than white nuggets. If you buy watermelons without genetic modifications, it will have seeds, and you can take advantage of this trick.
- It shouldn’t smell like fermented fruit. If it smells like this, leave it in the store, it’s already gone.
- Its color must be bright red. On the contrary, if the watermelon has a dark red color, it indicates that it is past, do not buy it.
- The space between the pulp and the rind is yellow. If the rind part is yellow, do not buy it, this may indicate a high concentration of nitrates (chemical manipulation for premature growth of fruits and vegetables).
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff