We begin to dream of sweet and juicy refreshing watermelon from the very beginning of warm days. However, making the right choice during the purchase is always very difficult, sometimes even unrealistic, if you do not know some of the tricks and basic landmarks that are located on the fruit itself. It is they who will become the main helpers in the choice and will definitely point out the most delicious and ripe berry.
Here are the basic rules in choosing a watermelon, and then it really will only bring pleasant pleasure without sad consequences and disappointments.
Botanically speaking, watermelon is a false berry.
Fun fact: As strange as it sounds, from a botanical point of view, watermelon is the largest false berry in the world. Although many try to attribute it to pumpkins, it is not, because inside the fruit there is no emptiness like in melons and pumpkins. They are called false because the cork crust is inedible, such as in gooseberries or currants.
1. Size matters
It is better not to rush to such extremes.
The first thing that catches your eye when choosing any fruit is the size. And watermelons were no exception, but in this matter you need to control yourself and stick to the golden mean. Very large specimens are best ignored, but small ones are also not a good option. If in the first case there are too many nitrates in it and this is dangerous to health, then in the second it is not a grown or underdeveloped fruit, which certainly will not be sweet and tasty.
The ideal weight for a ripe watermelon ranges from 5 to 8 kg. The exceptions are small-fruited varieties that are grown by summer residents and gardeners at home. The optimal weight for a watermelon ripened in natural conditions is 5-8 kg, and for home crumbs – 2-3 kg.
2. Gloss, brightness and contrast
First of all, you need to check the integrity of the watermelon shell.
When choosing a watermelon, be sure to pay attention to its appearance. The first thing to check carefully is its integrity. There should be no damage, dents or deep scratches on the fruit.
The rind of the watermelon should be shiny and vibrant. Then start judging his appearance by color. In a mature, nitrate-free watermelon, the stripes will be pronounced and maximally contrasting. The darker the stripes themselves, the more nutrients the berry will have and the sweeter it will be. And lastly, do not hesitate to touch the fruit itself, if the crust is soft, it means that it is still unripe and continues to absorb moisture.
Press the watermelon with your finger, if the peel is hard, then the fruit is ripe. The hardened rind of a ripe watermelon will be very difficult not only to push with your finger, but even to pick it up with your fingernail will not work. But that’s not all, in addition to hardness, the crust should be shiny, a dull appearance indicates the presence of a large amount of nitrates.
3. The presence of a stain
A spot on the side of a watermelon will always tell you if the watermelon is ripe.
Examining a watermelon, it is difficult not to notice a light spot on one of its barrel. This is a completely natural formation (the place of contact with the ground during the ripening period), which best tells about the ripeness of the product. If the watermelon is ripe, the spot should be creamy yellow or golden, but not white or brown.
A too large and light earthen spot is a sure ghost of a tasteless watermelon.
The size of the spot also matters, if these are small varieties, then the spot in diameter should reach 5 cm, but if large – no more than 10 cm. If you see a large whitish “bedsore” (as it is also called), then refuse to buy, because during the ripening period, he did not have enough light, which means that he will at least tasteless and sluggish.
4. Look for traces of bees
The larger the area of the bee lace pattern on the rind of the watermelon, the tastier it will be.
Oddly enough, but when pollinated, bees leave a very noticeable mark on the fruits. For complete pollination, each bee flies to a female flower and goes back 8-10 times. After such labors, a thin “cobweb” remains on tiny watermelons, which eventually turns brown and more noticeable. And the more refined such an extraordinary pattern will be and the more branches there will be, which means the berry will delight you with sweetness and juiciness.
5. You need to decide on the sex of the watermelon
Watermelons “boys” are more elongated and there will be more seeds in them.
Who still did not know, but watermelons really have boys and girls. According to experts, the “girl fruit” has more sugar and fewer seeds, but the “boys” grow larger and have a watery flesh. Outwardly, they can also be distinguished. Girls, for example, are rounder and slightly flattened with a large spot left in place of the flower, but the male half is more elongated and with a small spot.
6. We look at the ponytail and the “button”
A watermelon tail can also tell a lot about its owner. If it turns out to be green or not at all, put the fruit aside, it is definitely immature. If it is too dry, then this means only one thing – the watermelon left the melon a very long time ago.
A ripe and tasty watermelon will have such a tail with a “button”.
Suddenly you see a moderately dry tail, then do not rush to rejoice, first take a closer look at the “button” with which it grows, its edges should be dried. If everything is in order with this, then the fruit will be ripe and sweet.
7. Knock, press, listen
To choose a ripe and tasty watermelon, you need to listen to it.
This procedure can only be carried out by strong male hands, because a watermelon weighing 7 kg. it will be very difficult to hold it in one hand or squeeze it tightly on both sides (remember, as in the cartoon of all times and peoples “Well, wait a minute!”). But seriously, the ripeness of the fruit can be determined using sound. To do this, he should be put on the palm of his left hand, and with the right – a good “slap”. Not only should it resonate and you can hear vibrations in the left hand, so the watermelon will make a booming sound, due to the porosity of the ripened pulp.
Another test, compression, has also proven itself well. If the watermelon is squeezed on both sides, then it will begin to crackle slightly, and this is the first sign that the fruit will be sweet, tasty and crunchy.