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How to Pick the Sweetest Watermelon Every Time
Watermelon the Perfect Side Dish for Any Summer Party
With summer finally here and weekend BBQ’s on on the agenda, I often find myself at the grocery store looking for a quick and easy side dish. Sliced Watermelon is my “go to” dish for most of the backyard shindigs. Watermelon is easy, inexpensive and takes 15 minutes to prep with no hot oven heating up my kitchen! Making Watermelon the perfect compliment to any summer meal.
After years of trial and error, I’ve slowly figured out the formula for picking out the sweetest watermelon. Because there is nothing worse than serving watermelon to hot and hungry kids only to see their grimaces when they bite into a sour piece of fruit.
Follow these sure-fire “watermelon picking” tips and your guests will be asking you for tips how to pick their next watermelon!
Picking the Sweetest Watermelon
When you roll up on the 800 watermelons in the boxes at the big box stores, don’t be afraid. Follow these few tips and in two minutes time, you will have a sweet juicy watermelon in your cart!
- Shape~First look at the shape of the watermelon. Watermelons can be round or oval. Doesn’t matter which, seedless are generally rounder. Whichever your preference just make sure the watermelon is symmetrical. That indicates that the watermelon received equal water and sunlight.
- Size~ The bigger the better 😉 Watermelons are 90% water so the heavier the melon the more water it contains, therefore the juicier it will be.
- Color~ You want a bright green watermelon. The darker the better. Generally the darker the watermelon is the sweeter it will be. The watermelon will have one discolored side. The discolored side is where the watermelon rested while growing. This side needs to be yellow, NOT light green. Yellow indicates that it is ripe.
- Sound~ When you knock on the watermelon you want to hear a thump like hollow noise. If it is a lighter sound, move on. Hollow = Ripe.
- Bee Tracks!~ This is my favorite tip and has NEVER failed me. Look for “bee marks” on the skin of the watermelon. Bees can smell or sense sugar (the ripeness of a watermelon) So they eagerly try to break into them. If you find track marks you have found a sweet melon.
Sugar Sap ~ My kiddos think this is gross. Look at the bellybutton of the melon. If you see brown sap like sugar leaking from the belly button you have won the watermelon lottery. The watermelon is sooooo sweet the sugar is literally leaking out of the watermelon. This pic is of a watermelon I picked up last weekend. This particular watermelon had tons of sap and true to form it was DELICIOUS!
Storing and Serving Your Watermelon
A couple other things to remember when storing and serving watermelon. If I buy a watermelon and don’t plan on cutting for a few days. I store it in my pantry that is cool and dark. It will keep it from ripening too quickly and spoiling.
When it comes to serving, I either serve traditionally in triangles. Or if I am serving in a bowl I serve with about a cup and a half of frozen blue berries drizzled with real Honey; real honey sweetens the blueberries and adds a nice consistency to the fruit juices. It takes your watermelon game up a couple of notches.
Watermelon Shopping Cheat Sheet
Size~ The bigger the better 😉
Color~ You want a bright green watermelon. This side needs to be yellow, NOT light green. Yellow indicates that it is ripe.
Sound~ When you knock on the watermelon you want to hear a thump like hollow Hollow = Ripe.
Bee Tracks!~ Look for “bee marks” on the skin of the watermelon.
Sugar Sap ~ Look at the bellybutton of the melon. You want a “leaky watermelon!
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