How to pick a good watermelon

How to pick a good watermelon

You must love watermelons. How do you pick the good one? Is there art in picking the best watermelon? Today we look at some of the tests you can use to make sure you select that juicy and sweet watermelon.

If you are buying precut watermelon, look for bright red flesh and dark brown or black seeds.  Pieces with white streaks and many white seeds means the watermelon is under-ripe.

How to pick a good watermelon

For full watermelon, you should consider the following factors:-

THE SHAPE – get and a firm symmetrical watermelon with no cuts dents and bruises.  If it has lumps, it means it did not receive regular amounts of water and sunshine when growing.
THE WEIGHT – Watermelons are up to 92% water. If it’s heavy for its size, it means it full of water and therefore ripe. To test, lift 2 watermelons of the same size, the heavier one is the is riper
THE GROUND SPOT – There should be a side of the watermelon that is creamy yellow. This is part of the melon that was on the ground. If the ground spot is white, or even nonexistent, this probably means that the watermelon was picked too soon, and will not be ripe
THE COLOUR – A ripe watermelon should be dark green in color and dull in appearance, rather than shiny. A shiny watermelon will usually be under ripe.
THE SOUND – Knock the watermelon firmly with your knuckles and listen. A ripe watermelon should give a full sound, more tenor than base. A dull or deep sound, as this means the watermelon is not ripe


How to Cut and Store Watermelon

A whole, fresh, uncut watermelon can be stored at room temperature for up to ten days and in the refrigerator for up to three weeks before it needs to be used. 

Watermelons are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene which is good for the health of the heart and bones. It has no fat and is very low in calories as it is over 90% water and 8% natural sugar.

Keeping the watermelon at room temperature will ripen the watermelon slightly, but not much due to the fact that if picked (from the farm) before it fully ripens, it will never fully ripen.

Cutting a watermelon

  • Place the watermelon onto a chopping board and cut off the top and bottom using a knife – this will enable you to be able to “stand” the watermelon on one of the cut edges
  • Cut the watermelon vertically into two halves.
  • Cut each half into about six or more wedges (cut vertically). You can cut the wedges into two equal halves if need be.

Storing the cut watermelon pieces

If stored properly, the cut pieces can last up to five days in the refrigerator. Put the cut watermelon pieces into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. When you need to use a few pieces, remove them, several at a time from the container. Keep the rest refrigerated in the locked airtight container

Below is a summary of how long a watermelon can last depending on how it is stored

Shelf
Refrigerator

Whole Uncut Watermelon
Seven to ten days
Two to three weeks

Cut watermelon pieces
One day
Three to  five days

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