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Food & Recipes

How To Pick a Watermelon That’s Ripe and Juicy Every Time

Never go home with a sour melon again.


Nothing compares to taking a bite out of a sweet slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day. But if you find yourself in the produce section trying to figure out how to pick a watermelon that’s actually at its ripest, you’re not alone. If you want to cut and eat your fruit right away, there’s one thing you need to look for to make sure it’s at peek ripeness.

How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

This summer, I’ve had my fair share of unripe watermelon incidences. I call it an incidence because this is not something anyone wants to experience — it’s disappointing and sad. Since then, I decided to scour the internet for tips on how to pick a ripe watermelon at the grocery store, and I’m so glad that I did.

If you want to pick a good watermelon, there’s one thing you need to look for, according to the expert foodies over at The Kitchn. The tell-tale sign of a ripe, juicy watermelon is a creamy-yellow underbelly.

Never heard of a watermelon underbelly? The name just refers to the side of the watermelon that touches the ground, or hasn’t been as exposed to the sun as much as the rest of the melon. When a watermelon is underripe, its underbelly (the lightest part of the melon) will look white. If it’s a buttery yellow color, you’ve got yourself a winner. See the photo below.

Getty Images

Some other things to look for when you’re trying to pick a watermelon: the juiciest of the bunch will feel heavy when you pick them up, no matter their size. Ripe watermelons will also have a deep, hollow sound when you knock on them. This tells you that they’re full of that sweet, tasty juice and that they’re ready to be cracked open and carved!

Just as well, you want to make sure that you’re not picking up a watermelon that’s too ripe, only to be disappointed when you get home. Check your fruit for any soft spots, bruises, major discolorations, mold, and cuts (minor bruises and scratches are OK). If you find any, this could indicate that your melon is overripe. And if you’ve kept a watermelon for longer than you thought you would and notice that it’s mushy and grainy when you finally cut it open, it’s probably time to toss it.

There you have it. With these simple tips, we’re sure you’ll bring home the perfect watermelon each and every time you buy one for the rest of the season. We hope you take full advantage and enjoy all that the summer has to offer!

Speaking of fruit, did you know that eating bananas before they’re ripe has health benefits?

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