How to select the perfect watermelon

38977_1532130344044_6858592_nWatermelon! It is either nature’s candy, a cool filling drink of water on a hot day, or a bitter mushy mess! The difference is all in careful selection!

I chuckle when I see folks walk up to a bin of watermelons and grab one or two and toss them into their cart like they were buying a bag of carrots!

And, to be fair, people chuckle at me when they see me pawing over the bin as I check and re-check different melons searching for just the right one. But anybody who has ever eaten a melon I selected can tell you, I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING!

The first thing I do is give a prospective candidate a good, solid THUMP! The perfect melon will have a very hollow sound to it. It will even kind of echo! That sound tells you the melon is ripe, and VERY juicy!

After you thump a few, find the one that has the most hollow sound, but keep track of the second, and even third place contenders, because you cant go by the thump alone!

Over ripe melons will thump too, but they will be mushy, and almost bitter.  YUCK!  The next step is to scrape the blossom end, and the stem end with your finger nail and give them a sniff.

If either end smell like anything other than “green” reject it. The other smells will be kinda like dirt, or maybe even mildew. Those melons are beyond their prime, and you should give your second choice melon a sniff!

Now here is the bad part! If you have checked every single melon in the bin, and the ones with the best thump have NO SMELL at all on the stem, and blossom end then they are not ripe enough yet!

These melons will be juicy, but wont be as sweet as they could be! They wont be mushy and gross like the over ripe ones, and they will still be very refreshing.  It’s even possible that it could still be one of the best melons you have ever had if you heretofore were the kind of person to select by the random method.

Next time you are in the mood for a sweet juicy slice of summer, give my methods a try! Sure, some folks will look at you like you are out of your mind, but once you get really good at picking melons you can teach them what you are learning now, and send them home with your second choice melon! They wont be laughing then! They will be drowning in sweet juicy watermelon nirvana just like the rest of us who know!

This works on cantaloupe, and honeydew too! Let me know how it works out for you! But hurry! Fall is likely gonna pay us an early visit this year if you go by the weather we are having the past few days, and then all we will have are over priced imported watermelons! And who wants them???

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.