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  • Writer's pictureJena - The Grocery Gal

Watermelon Woes Begone: tips and tricks to picking the perfect watermelon at your local store.

Its just about summer, so we all know what that means... its time for summer’s most iconic snack.... WATERMELONS!!! I wait all year long to sink my kitchen knife into one of these, it is my very favorite summer treat. There were days where I swear I lived off of homegrown tomatoes, peaches and watermelons in the summer... especially the one I was pregnant with Drew. Haha... pregnant lady cravings and all. Something must have stayed with him because it is also Drew’s favorite treat too and there aren’t many times in the summer our fridge doesn’t have a big bright red bowl with cubed watermelon and a ziploc full of watermelon slices at the ready for our snacking!

I do know that picking a watermelon can be frustrating work if you’re a customer at a grocery store or even at a roadside fruit stand. The nice part about those side of the road stands are the farmer who grew the produce is usually right there with it and can answer all your questions and often they have extreme knowledge about which melon is the right one to pick... as well as their fruit is often perfectly ripe so you really can’t go wrong. However, if you’re on your own at the store let me help you out. I recently saw a post by a follower of mine on instagram about being less than thrilled with her watermelon choice at her local store so I thought this would be the perfect time to impart some of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years.

First, the shape of the watermelon you choose can often impact the taste. If a watermelon is more round like a basketball it is often labeled as a “female” melon and is supposed to be sweeter than its more oblong/oval counterparts “male” melons.

Secondly, and probably the one I use most in my day to day selection of melons to slice at our stores or bring home is the noticeable bleached spot on the bottom of the melon. This yellowed or bleached out spot means the melon has been laying on the ground longer and is more mature/ripe than its unbleached counterparts. You want to make sure that your melon is ripe (aka sweeter and juicier). An unripened melon is usually the culprit for a displeasure in your choice. Those melons often lack sweet smell and flavor... they just didn’t get to be on the vine long enough.

Third, probably the most infamous melon tip if you live in the south is the sound a melon makes when you “thump” or “knock” on it. The more hollow the sound the better. The hollow sound comes from the knock reverberating on the juices. The more juice the more hollow sounding the melon. I am not a champion thumper... I have also found that this trick does not work for me personally as much as the shape and bleached spot trick does. However, if you’re a champion thumper or melon knocker... just know that I’m slightly jealous of your skills!

Last tip that I have is to check out the stem on the melon you are selecting. If the stem is dried out then you can rest assured that your melon had plenty of time to ripen. If on the flip side your melon’s stem is green or flexible... he didn’t have plenty of time to ripen and you will most likely be picking a less than perfect melon.

I am including a video I made last night to explain all of this in more detail and to give you some visual representations of what I’m describing! I hope all of this helps and you are picking the perfect watermelon to enjoy this holiday weekend and summer!

Happy Memorial Day weekend y’all...until next time grocery getters!

*Also, for good measure I’m including a baby picture of Drew with his very favorite summer treat. Photo credit goes to our long standing family photographer Jayme Stringfellow... she’s been with us since he was in my belly and we wouldn’t trade her for the world. She is also the genius behind all the Grocery Gal photos you see on here!

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