How to pick a sweet watermelon

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When you pass by a local grocery store with a handsome display of juicy watermelon, you might wonder where to even begin to pick a good one. Which brings me back to an incident where years ago when I went to a Korean market that had watermelons on sale; A group of Asian women were hovering over the melons, picking them up, putting their ear close, and knocking on them. This created a conundrum in the produce aisle. It was delightful. But it turns out, knocking is actually one of the ways to find a sweet watermelon. Here are some additional tips for picking the best of the bunch.

#1 Pick the dullest

A shiny watermelon is an indication that it’s underripe. You’ll want to scan the batch for one that isn’t shiny and has matte, dull skin.

#2 Look for the yellow resting spot

A ripe watermelon has a yellow creamy spot where it was resting on the soil. I like to call this “the melon belly.” Look for a creamy yellow color, the darker yellow, the sweeter. Steer away from the whitish creamy spots. That’s a sign of an immature watermelon.

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#3 No cuts or bruises

As with all good fruit, the rind should be firm. If there are any soft spots or cuts on the rind, steer clear.

#4 The heavyweight champion!

When you pick up the melon, it should be heavier than it looks. Watermelons should be juicy and full of water. You don’t want a dried or shriveled up one on the inside!

#5 Dark brown or white lines

Scars and lines around the exterior is a good indicator of sweet juicy flesh! Look for dark brown textured lines that look like scars. Sometimes the lines will be textured and white. This is what you want.

#6 And finally, the knock!

Pick your watermelon up and give it a hard knock. You want to hear a deep, hollow sound. If you hear a flat thudding sound, your watermelon is underripe or overripe.

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