Watermelon

Watermelon

A popular fruit that grows on ground vines in a number of different shapes and sizes, all round and fairly large. Watermelons can range in shape from round to elongated, weigh from 8 to 30 pounds and be filled with seeds or seedless. They have a thick rind that surrounds a range of flesh colors from pink to dark red and yellow. Some of the common types of melons are allsweet, crimson sweet, icebox, jubilee, seedless, and yellow flesh. The icebox melon is round in shape, weighs from 5 to 15 pounds, and contains a red or yellow flesh. The jubilee and allsweet varieties are oval-shaped and elongated, larger in size (25 to 45 pounds), with flesh that can be pink to dark red. The Crimson sweets weigh between 15 to 35 pounds, have a shape that can be round or elongated, and have a flesh that can be either yellow or red. Yellow flesh melons generally weigh from 10 to 30 pounds, with a round or oval shape, and contain a bright yellow flesh that is not as sweet as the red-fleshed variety. The seedless watermelons are very popular due to their lack of seeds. They range in size from 10 to 25 pounds and have a flesh color that can be either red or yellow. All watermelons consist of 80 to 90% water, they are low in calories, and contain an airy flesh that is very juicy and sweet to the taste.

How to use: Watermelon is most often eaten on its own. It is sliced, quartered, cubed, or scooped to form balls. It is added to fruit salad and used to make jam, sorbet, juice, salsa, and sometimes wine. Watermelon that has not yet ripened is used in the same way as summer squash.
The seeds of a watermelon can be eaten. They are roasted, and/or salted and sometimes ground into a form of cereal to make bread. The watermelon rind can be candied or marinated.

At their best: Watermelon is most often eaten on its own. It is sliced, quartered, cubed, or scooped to form balls. It is added to fruit salad and used to make jam, sorbet, juice, salsa, and sometimes wine. Watermelon that has not yet ripened is used in the same way as summer squash. The seeds of a watermelon can be eaten. They are roasted, and/or salted and sometimes ground into a form of cereal to make bread. The watermelon rind can be candied or marinated.

How to buy: It is difficult to determine whether a watermelon is flavorful without cutting it open and tasting it. Select watermelons that are firm, free of bruises, and heavy. Ripe melons generally have a nice sheen to their outer skin and a yellow spot on their underside, which remains from where the melon grew on the ground. When purchasing a precut watermelon, select a watermelon with flesh that is firm, juicy, bright in color and has no visible white streaks.

Storage:

  • If uncut watermelon needs to ripen, store at room temperature.
  • Watermelon that has ripened but has not been cut should be refrigerated. Uncut, ripe watermelon keeps longer and is more refreshing to eat when chilled.
  • Watermelon that has been cut should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. This will keep the cut watermelon from absorbing the odors of other foods and prevent it from drying out. Eat as soon as possible.

AllSweet

Ice-Box

Seedless

Watermelon_seedless Raw, in fruit salads or in fruit platters.

Good-quality Seedless watermelons will be firm, evenly-shaped, heavy for its size and have a deep-pitched tone when slapped with an open palm. Medium to large melons are generally easier to tell when ripe. Yellow on one side of the melon is where the fruit contacted the ground and does not affect quality. Seedless watermelon are not completely seedless, they just have the small white seeds that most people consider edible.

Avoid product that is partially white or pale green, soft overall, has soft spots or is leaking a milky-white fluid. When using the open palm technique for ripeness, avoid melons with a high-pitched tone or a dead, thudding sound.

Sunny

Yellow Flesh

Watermelon_yellow Raw in fruit salads or in fruit platters.

Good-quality Yellow watermelon will be firm, evenly-shaped, heavy for its size and have a deep-pitched tone when slapped with an open palm. Medium to large melons are generally easier to tell when ripe. Yellow on one side of the melon is where the fruit contacted the ground and does not affect quality.

Avoid product that is partially white or pale green, soft overall, has soft spots or is leaking a milky-white fluid. When using the open palm technique for ripeness, avoid melons with a high-pitched tone or a dead, thudding sound.

Yellow watermelon is available year-round due to imports from Mexico. California and Arizona product is available from May through October.