Picking Ripe Watermelon

Sliced watermelon on plate
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Question: Picking Ripe Watermelon

How can I tell if a watermelon is ripe at the supermarket?

Answer: Watermelon has to be the one fruit that truly epitomizes summer in the USA. Well, when it's ripe. Unripe watermelon is a big disappointment! You spend all that time cutting this huge melon, only to find it not as sweet and juicy as you imagined.

Tips for Picking a Ripe Watermelon

I have found one of the best places to buy a watermelon is from your local farmer's market or fruit stand.

Fruits like watermelon are picked when ripe, unlike those found in supermarkets. Watermelons sold in commercial grocery stores are often picked early,so they can ripen while being transported. However, the melons can arrive too early, even too late, and making them, well, just not good.

Look for a melon that is nice looking, meaning free of dents, bruises, cuts, etc. Check under the melon - if it has a yellow or light bottom, it should be ripe. If its stripes are found all around the melon, pass on it. It's just not ready yet.

You may see people at the market tapping on watermelon. What exactly are they listening for? The are checking for signs of hollowness. If it sounds hollow, it's ripe. Not hollow, unripe.

Look for a heavy melon. Watermelons are made up of mostly water, so an ideal melon should be heavy for its size.