Cut the Myths: Here's How to Tell if a Watermelon is Actually Ripe

consumer
August 03, 2017

As summer enters full swing, many people are flocking to their local super market in search of the perfect side dish for parties and barbecues. For many Americans, there’s almost nothing that tastes better on a hot summer day than a cold slice of watermelon.

However, choosing a watermelon that is actually ripe and tasteful can be a tough task. Over the years, many urban legends and myths have developed about how to choose the perfect melon.

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Some people claim that by thumping on the watermelon with your fingers, then listening to the sound it makes, gives you an idea on how ripe it truly is. Other people sometimes use a toothpick, balanced perfectly on top of the melon, and see which direction it spins and if it falls off.

It can be hard to pick a perfect watermelon no matter how you look at it. However, most people don’t know there are actual ways that factually improve your chances of getting the best melon.

According to the New York Times, you want a watermelon that’s uniform in shape with a dull, matte sheen. “Odd bumps and curves can mean it was grown with irregular runs of water or sun,” which doesn’t bode well for its quality.

People Magazine is reporting that there actually is a right way to tell. According to them, it has to do with the “creamy yellow” spot on the melon.

“The real tell-tale sign of a ripe watermelon, no thumping required, is ‘a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun’ on the underside of the melon. That’s according to the experts at the National Watermelon Promotion Board. This yellow splotch also known as the field spot, and though it looks like a spot where a watermelon might’ve gone bad, as Harold McGee explains in On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, the ‘yellow skin undertones indicative of chlorophyll loss and thus ripeness.’”

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So, armed with that new information, you are now ready to be the talk of the town as you serve up delicious watermelon for all your friends! Just be sure to check potential melons for a uniform shape, dull in sheen yet smooth in texture, and ones that prominently feature a yellow spot.

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