Our top tips for picking and buying the quintessential summer fruit, whether it’s fresh off the vine or off the supermarket shelf.
Occasionally, especially in the hot summer, you may crave a refreshing, juicy watermelon. But to buy a ripe, sweet, seeded watermelon in its natural state, you need to know a few tricks. For example, take a tape measure to the store and measure the fruit to make sure you choose the right one. And before serving, dip the piece of flesh in clean, room-temperature water to spot any problems.
We love sweet and tasty watermelons. To make sure you never make a mistake when choosing this fruit, we have collected useful tips from internet users and added a bonus where we tell you how pick a sweet and ripe watermelon.
1. Yellow skin is a sign of high nitrate concentration
Nitrogen is essential for growth and development. Watermelon growers who use it with an increase in available standards get up to 10 kilos in just three weeks. But the consumer can get intoxicated after eating such a fruit. That’s why, when you cut the watermelon, pay attention to the color of the rind: it should not be yellow. The flesh of a good watermelon should not have any white spots.
2. Check that there are no holes in the watermelon.
Although some consider the transverse holes to be insect bites and not needles with nitrates, try not to buy such a watermelon. Although the fruit is good, the part with the flesh is spoiled.
3. Don’t eat a watermelon with a large hollow center.
The separation of the pulp says that the fruit is overripe or contains growth hormones. Overripe watermelon can have a slightly bitter taste, and one that has been injected with growth hormones can lead to poisoning. Therefore, it is better not to eat such fruits.
4. Before eating a watermelon, put a piece of flesh in the water.
To check if watermelon contains nitrates and avoid poisoning, immerse a piece of the pulp in clean water at room temperature. If the fruit is dangerous, the water will turn a deep pink color. It is better not to eat this fruit.
5. A watermelon shouldn’t be light when you lift it.
Sometimes even a nice, soft peel, a yellow spot and a dry tail cannot guarantee that the watermelon will be tasty. It is necessary that you weigh it before the purchase, since it has to be dense and heavy. If there is no scale in the store, trust your feelings. A ripe fruit has to be quite heavy when you take it in your hands.
How to Pick a Watermelon
1. Pick a watermelon without dents.
A ripe and delicious watermelon will be shiny, smooth and without visible damage. Small dents can be consequences of blows. In such cases, the waste will arrive quickly, there is a probability that you will throw much of the fruit into the trash can.
2. Don’t be afraid of small and shallow holes in the bark.
Many Internet users write that such perforations are the traces of the needles of watermelon growers, who have injected nitrate into the fruits. If the depth is not so marked, then it is not worth being afraid – these are traces left by the wireworm. These do not influence the quality and taste of the fruit.
3. When pick a watermelon, look for small beige marks on the rind.
Such beige-colored “scars“ on the smooth peel of the watermelon are zones where the bees tried to ”taste” the pulp. Internet users checked and came to the conclusion that such watermelons are often very sweet.
4. A ripe watermelon weighing 9 lbs (4 kg) must have a circumference of 25 or more.
According to a magazine from 1986, a ripe watermelon with a mass of 4 kilograms should have a circumference of 61.9 centimeters or more. Internet users checked the information of this magazine, and this turned out to be true: watermelon is ripe and delicious.
5. The tail of a watermelon and the area where it is attached to the stem should be dry.
Watermelons with green and fresh tails have not yet ripened. Select the fruit with a dry tail. At the same time, the fruit in general cannot have a tail, but the spot where it was has to be brown.
6. Pick a watermelon with the brightest yellow spot on the rind.
The yellow spot on the peel is the side from which the watermelon was placed on the ground. The longer it stays and matures, the sweeter it will be. Ripe fruits have creamy yellow or even orange and yellow spots.
7. Do not try to buy pre-cut watermelons.
Buy only whole fruits. When cutting it with a knife, microorganisms from its surface enter the watermelon pulp. In a hot environment, especially under plastic, microbes reproduce in the sweet pulp and can lead to intestinal diseases.