Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 17, 2009 11:51 AM

Watermelon - your trick to picking one

We love watermelon. Just got the first one of the season - seeded (I think seedless taste different but wife say not much different but that is another tread).

I stand around the watermelon displays and watch people try to pick one. The methods are greatly varied. What is your method for picking a good watermelon?

Do they continue to ripen/sweeten once picked?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Easy. Knock on it and if it sounds hollow it's ripe.

    1. I've read that you want to look for some oozing out of the stem end and a large white area where the melon has been resting.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Humbucker

        Never heard anything about the oozing part. I think I probably wouldn't pick an oozing melon.

        1. re: chicgail

          The ooze occurs because the melon is overflowing with sugar.

      2. heavy for it's size, a yellow ground-spot and if it sounds dead when rapped with knuckle you chances are pretty good.

        but this early it's really a crap shoot.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ScubaSteve

          SS, what does "dead" sound like? A riddle for the ages... adam

          1. re: adamshoe

            i think i'd describe it as no-echo, the opposite of hollow sounding.
            think something like a dead-blow mallett, it absorbs all impact.

        2. My local supermarkets have produce clerks, I use to ask them how to pick "the best fruit". Often, the clerks would cut pieces of fruit from the fruit we inspected.

          Last week at a supermarket, I watched a clerk cut slices from different apples. Customer wanted to know the difference in the different apples.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Alan408

            Which supermarket? I can get advice from my local produce guys, but the only place I can get that kind of attention is from the farmer's market.

            1. re: TampaAurora

              Two guys at a San Jose Nob Hill taught me, I have seen the produce guys at San Jose Lunardi's and recently a woman at a Redwood City Safeway giving melon tips/apple-orange tastings.

              The key is asking for help.

              1. re: Alan408

                no offense but the 17 year old that works in my local produce section can't tell broccoli from broccoli rabe.

          2. thumping it, with the hollow sound and then I smell it. I don't think I really know what I"m doing, but nevertheless, I've always bought nice watermelons. haha!

            Cantelope is easier for me, they really have a lovely musky aroma when ripe.

            2 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                for Melons like Cantalope, Honeydew and Casaba i just shake them. if you hear sloshing around they're Very Ripe.