How to Pick Ripe Melons
Posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at 7:00 am
How can you tell which melon you should buy from the grocery store? Is it better if the melon is heavy, or light? Can you tell if the melon is ripe by the smell? Should you tap the melon and listen to the sound? If so, do you know what you are actually listening for? Here are some helpful hints that will teach you how to pick ripe melons from the grocery store.
Choosing a Ripe Melon
One of the foods that is in season during the month of June is the beloved watermelon. You definitely want to make sure that you pick a ripe one from the selection at the grocery store.
The What About Watermelon blog suggests the following:
* Look for a watermelon that is firm. It should be symmetrical and should not have any major bruises or scars. (Minor scratches are ok). You want to choose a watermelon that is dark green in color.
* Pick up the watermelon. The heaviest watermelons have the most water in them. Watermelons are actually 92% water. It stands to reason that they should be nice and heavy.
* Turn the watermelon over and look for the “ground spot”. It is the area where the watermelon sat on the ground. That spot will be a creamy yellow color (because it didn’t get to see any sun while the watermelon was growing). Avoid watermelons that have a “ground spot” that is white or greenish. It isn’t ripe yet!
What about tapping the watermelon? The What About Watermelon blog says that tapping the watermelon doesn’t provide any useful information. There is some debate over what the taps should sound like. There isn’t a definitive agreement on which sounds mean that the watermelon is a good one.
The I Adore Food blog suggests you take a look at a cantaloupe’s “belly button”. Yes, really! The “belly button” is a circular area located at the top of the cantaloupe. It is where the melon was connected to the vine while it was growing.
If you find the cantaloupe’s “belly button” it means that it was cut from the vine. Ideally, cantaloupes should separate from the vine on their own once they are ripe. The ones that have a “belly button” were cut before they finished ripening. Pick a cantaloupe that lacks a “belly button”.
Don’t buy a cantaloupe that has a sticky or waxy skin. The skin should be dry and feel sort of like a cork. Look for a cantaloupe that is symmetrical in shape and heavy for its size.
Smell is important. The cantaloupe should smell good. Put it on your counter at home, and pay attention to the smell. It may be continuing to ripen! Cantaloupes will be at their “ripeness peak” for about 3 days (so eat it while it smells good).