Buying a watermelon is like making a small investment. Pick a good watermelon and you’d be richly rewarded with plenty of sweet, juicy flesh that you can use to make delicious drinks (how about a watermelon soju cocktail?) and salads. Pick a bad one and you’ve got a huge liability on your hands.
Here’s how to make sure you choose the best watermelon you can lay your hands on.
Pick a watermelon with dull skin
A good watermelon is a dark green colour and matte in texture. A shiny skin indicates that the watermelon is unripe.
Feel for the densest of the lot
When you hold the watermelon, it should feel heavy relative to its size. This means that the fruit is fleshy and juicy on the inside. Compare it with the other watermelons in that batch and find the densest one.
Observe the symmetry
It’s not for aesthetic purposes. An asymmetrical watermelon with lumps or bumps indicates that the watermelon didn’t receive enough water or sunlight regularly as it was growing, which may suggest dry flesh and chalky texture.
Look for a yellow patch
The yellow patch is called the “field spot”. It is where the watermelon has been resting on. The yellow patch should have a creamy look to it. The darker the shade of yellow, the longer the watermelon was on the vine to mature.
If the field spot is white or absent, the watermelon is still unripe.
Skip the stem
Look at the top of the watermelon, where it should’ve been hanging off a vine. If the stem is still intact, it means that the watermelon was plucked off manually, instead of being allowed to ripen and fall naturally, which indicates that the watermelon is still unripe.
Give it a firm smack
Not too hard! Just apply enough force to hear a full, deep sound. An unripe watermelon will produce a dull sound. The skin should feel firm when your hand strikes it.
- Select a watermelon with dull skin
- Feel for the densest of the lot
- Observe the symmetry
- Look for a yellow patch
- Skip the stem
- Give it a firm smack