Unlike cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and other berries, you can’t taste a watermelon on the spot to determine if it’s ready to eat. So how do you know if a watermelon is ripe? Well, it turns out you have to use your eyes, your ears, and… your intuition instead. Whether you buy yours at the supermarket, local grocery store, farmer’s market, or from the trailer of a pickup truck, there are signs of maturity to look out for. With their help, you’ll never bring home an overripe or underripe melon again. So your fruit salads, summer cocktails, and diet recipes will be downright irresistible.
How do you know if a watermelon is ripe by inspecting its stem?
If the watermelon still has a bit of its stem attached to one end and it is green and hard, this indicates that it has been recently harvested. Likewise, it can be a sign that it is green and not yet ready for consumption. How do you know if a watermelon is ripe? Look for one with a dry, brown stem for your watermelon recipes to be successful.
The point of contact with the ground is a must
When you examine a watermelon, you will see a white or yellow spot on the underside of its rind. This is the part of the fruit that touched the ground and was not exposed to the sun while it was growing. If you cannot find such a brand, then most likely the watermelon was harvested too early and it did not have time to fully ripen. On the other hand, the darker the spot in contact with the ground, the more ripe and sweeter the watermelon will be.
Look for the spider web!
On the rind of some watermelons, one or more irregularly textured areas can be seen, the shape of which is reminiscent of a spider’s web. Many people avoid these fruits because they ignore the reasons behind these bizarre formations and fear damaged fruits. In fact, they are clues that the bees have been in contact with the watermelon during pollination. So how do you know if a watermelon is ripe and super sweet? Check if she has spider webs!
How do you know if a watermelon is ripe according to the rind?
Carefully examine the rind of the watermelon from all sides. Its surface should be smooth, more or less shiny, dark green in color with light green to white marbling. Logically, avoid watermelons with cuts, holes, or soft spots. It’s okay if the rind on top of the melon looks a bit withered. This is due to sun exposure and can be another sign of maturity.
Take the watermelon in your hands to enjoy it!
Understandably, given the size and firmness of a watermelon, squeezing it like a lemon isn’t doable. You can, however, take the watermelon in your hands and press your palms against its rind for a few moments to check if it gives in to the pressure. You don’t want a soft bark, nor a rock-hard one. As is often the case, the ideal is somewhere in the middle.
Considering that you are already holding it in your hands, also bear in mind that ripe watermelons are heavy. Watermelon is made mostly of water, so it must be heavier for its size than you might think. Lift the chosen watermelon, then take one or two more by comparing their weights and choose the heaviest.
Sniff watermelon to detect its aroma
While holding the chosen watermelon, try to soak up its aroma. (It’s best to do this when it’s away from other fruits so that there isn’t a cross smell.) You want the fruit to barely smell sweet to make sure it tastes the same. If the sweetness seems a bit sharp, it means the melon is probably overripe.
How do you know if a watermelon is ripe? Tap it!
Have you seen people in the market tapping their ears on the watermelon near its surface? What exactly are they listening to? They look for signs of a dip. You want to knock softly on the watermelon, like knocking on a door and listen. If you hear a cavernous sound, it means that the watermelon has a hollow center and therefore it is ripe. If the sound is higher, then the watermelon is not yet ripe. On the other hand, an overripe melon will make a thud that is a few tones lower. These sonic distinctions can be difficult to recognize the first few times, but the more you try, the easier it gets.
Finally, a curious fact: Did you know that the shape of the watermelon is also decisive for its sweetness? Spherical watermelons are female and naturally sweeter, while egg-shaped fruits are male and rather watery. Here’s how to tell if a watermelon is ripe and sweet!