You only have a limited amount of time every year to get your fix of super-juicy, perfectly sweet watermelon. The fruit’s season generally runs the span of the sunny season, making it the perfect addition to all your summer picnics. The only issue? During prime time, there are a whole lot of melons at the grocery store from which to choose, which makes picking one that’s perfectly ripe feel like quite the gamble. Don’t worry, though: There’s a hack for that, and the only tool you need is your eyes.
To get the most bang for your buck come summertime—and avoid the agony that comes from sinking your teeth into a less-than-stellar slice of the fruit—just look to one often unnoticed part of the watermelon. While avoiding the rounds with soft spots and selecting a heavy one are also important tidbits of picking knowledge, Stephanie Barlow, the senior director of communications at the National Watermelon Promotion Board, told Refinery29 that your best bet is checking the field spot for its color.
The field spot—which is where the watermelon rested while it was growing—can tell you a lot about the ripeness of the fruit and if it’s truly ready to eat or not.
The field spot—which is where the watermelon rested while it was growing—can tell you a lot about the ripeness of the fruit and if it’s truly ready to eat or not. “This should be buttery yellow. It’s where the watermelon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun,” Barlow explains. “If this spot is whitish or green, your watermelon is likely underripe and will taste more like a cucumber than a watermelon. If it’s screaming canary or sunflower yellow, it may well be overripe, which could be mushy or grainy in texture. A soft butter yellow is perfection.”
So, simply eye the options and grab the one that’s the butteriest-looking of the bunch. Think of it as a game of Where’s Waldo: Watermelon Edition, and there’s a good chance you’ll soon be snacking on the best-tasting melon you’ve ever had, for the ultimate summer #win.
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