Five tips to find a perfectly ripe and sweet melon

Ripe mangos are red, can be gently pressed and they also give off a delicate fragrance. The greener an avocado, the riper it is. And kiwis should be just a little bit soft. While with indigenous fruits it's easy to tell if they are ripe, one has to use a bit of specialized knowledge with tropical fruits. Watermelons are a science unto themselves. So to avoid looking silly tapping on a melon the next time you're in the produce department, here are five tips you can rely on to find the very best one.

The rind

The melon should have a large faded spot from where it had been resting on the ground during growth. In an unripe fruit this is white to light green, whereas with a ripe fruit it will be yellow, orange or even have spots. 

The size

The best melons aren't always the biggest, so sometimes it's best to leave the jumbo sized ones behind and go for something more average. But regardless of size, it should always be hard to the touch.

flickr/Jon Rawlinson

The shape

You might be surprised to learn than melons have genders. Male fruits have an oval, long shape and tend to have a watery flavor. Female fruits are rounder and sweeter.


The pattern

Some melons have small brown spots on the rind that many people avoid. But these fruits are actually especially sweet. These brown flecks come about because the blossoms on the fruit have been popular feeding spots for hungry bees.

flickr/Lindsey Turner

The stem

If the stem is dry, it means that the fruit is ripe. If it's still green, it was harvested too soon.

flickr/Clyde Robinson

With these tips, you're sure to be prepared next time watermelon season rolls around. While others are foolishly tapping on their fruit and listening for the all-revealing sound of who-knows-what, you'll already be on your way to the cash register with the best melon in hand!


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