Have you wondered how to tell if a watermelon is sweet? Do you enjoy eating watermelon but hate it when it’s too watery or hasn’t matured enough to be sweet? Some watermelons are full of flavor, while others taste more like water than anything else. Mark has been our watermelon “tester” for years. He’ll tell you that when you tap your knuckles on the outside of the melon you want to hear a hollow sound. If it sounds “dull” without the hollow sound, move on to another one.
I’m not sure that’s a foolproof approach, so if you’d like to make sure you’re always buying a sweet watermelon that satisfies your craving for fresh and delicious fruit, check out these helpful tips. You can use these tips to tell if a watermelon will taste sweet or not. In case you missed this post, How To Dehydrate Watermelon
How to Tell If a Watermelon Is Sweet
Check the Size
Make sure you’re checking the size of the watermelon and comparing it with others, whether you’re at the grocery store or a farmer’s market. Some people assume that a giant watermelon is the absolute best, but that isn’t true.
Realistically, giant watermelons often have a more significant water content than smaller ones, meaning those watermelons won’t taste nearly as sweet. In this case, bigger isn’t better. Instead, look for an average-sized watermelon to buy. You don’t want an oversized watermelon or too-small of a watermelon. Instead, the goal is to find that perfect medium size.
Check the Shape of the Watermelon
Carefully look at the shape of the watermelon. While the fruit is typically round, some are more oblong than others. If you see watermelons that are oblong or oval, don’t bother getting them because they’re likely less sweet because they contain more water.
It’s best to choose a round watermelon when you’re craving the sweetness that comes from this fresh fruit. If you spot the perfect round watermelon, it’s the one to buy!
Look for a Field Spot
Always check for a field spot on your watermelons before you buy them. Not all watermelons will have this spot, but if you can find some that do, they can provide you with more valuable information on the fruit. Read on below.
What is the field spot?
The field spot is an area on the outside of the rind that appears on a watermelon that shows where it’s spent most of its time resting. Some watermelons won’t have this spot. On the other hand, some will have a slightly orange spot, and others will have a white field spot. Knowing the difference between the color of these spots is a must.
What does the orange spot mean?
If you find a watermelon with the orange field spot, it’s a good sign. It means the fruit is likely as sweet and flavorful as possible because it stayed on the vine a bit longer, giving it time to ripen to taste even better.
What does the white spot mean?
When you see a white spot on the watermelon, don’t bother buying it. The spot typically signifies that the watermelon spent more time on the ground and likely tastes more watery than sweet.
Be sure to look closely at any spots that you might see on the watermelon. Sometimes, the orange spot looks more yellow than orange. As long as it’s not white, you’re good to go.
Examine the Exterior Color
While looking at a selection of watermelons, check out the exterior color of each one that catches your eye. Naturally, you’re going to need to look for darker watermelons. Sure, the bright colors might catch your attention first, but those are the watermelons that often taste more watery than sweet.
You may have heard the old saying, “The darker the berry, the sweeter the fruit.” It applies to watermelon as well. If the outside of the watermelon has a darker, duller appearance, it’s likely already ripe, sweet, and ready for you to eat.
Pay Attention to Any Shininess
Have you ever noticed that some watermelons have a shiny appearance on their skin? The shininess often makes people believe that these are the best watermelons to get, but that isn’t the case. Unfortunately, if you see many shiny watermelons when shopping for fruit, it means that these fruits aren’t fully ripe yet.
If you buy them, they’re not going to taste as sweet as you’d like them to taste. If one store only has watermelons with shiny skin, don’t bother buying the fruit there. You can head to a different grocery store or farmer’s market to hopefully find what you really want.
Gently Shake the Watermelon at the Store
It sounds silly, but shaking the watermelon at the store can help you decide if you’re going to buy it or not. Please don’t shake it too rough to cause damage to the watermelon. Instead, hold the watermelon with both hands and gently shake it from one side to the next.
In some instances, you can hear the water because the watermelon is full of it. If you can hear the extra water, you’ll already know to avoid that watermelon because it isn’t going to have that naturally sweet taste that you’re craving from the fruit.
Look for Webbing on Your Watermelon
Don’t forget to look for any signs of webbing on your watermelon. While this isn’t something you’re going to see on every single watermelon that you find, it’s a noticeable pattern worth paying attention to.
If you see slight webbing on different parts of a watermelon, the best thing to do is avoid buying it because it will have a watery, bland taste. If you see extensive webbing on the watermelon, on the other hand, it’s a good idea to buy it. Watermelon with more oversized webbing tends to have a sweeter taste.
Are there any health benefits from eating watermelon?
We all love eating the flesh, as in bright red flesh, of sweet watermelon. It tends to be a favorite cool summer treat for most of us. I wonder how many of us consider the health benefits of this delicious fruit. Let’s jump in and check off a few things that will make this fruit even more attractive to eat.
Watermelon Is Full of Nutrients
You can feel good about eating watermelon since common nutrition facts show the flesh and watermelon juice are good sources of the nutrients we need in our diet. You can benefit from potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, amino acid citrulline, and many antioxidants like carotenoids, lycopene, and cucurbitacin that make up the food chemistry in watermelon.
The antioxidants help to fight the free radicals which can prove harmful and cause inflammation and related muscle soreness.
Watermelon Is Low in Calories
Although watermelon is pretty sweet to the taste, it is fairly low in calories at only 46 for a one-cup serving. Due to the high water content, there really isn’t much dietary fiber in watermelon.
Yes, water is about 92% water, so if you eat watermelon you’re adding to the hydration you need to support all your body functions, from organ operation, nutrient delivery, proper temperature regulation, digestion, and heart health.
The high water content and low daily value level of sodium (like salt) found in watermelon make for a good combination in the prevention of the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), lower incidence of heart disease, and help with weight loss as part of your daily weight management plan.
May Have Some Anticancer Benefits
Some studies, although not totally conclusive, have found that plant compounds in watermelon can have anticancer benefits. Those compounds include lycopene and cucurbitacin as mentioned above.
Watermelon Prompts Good Heart Health
Athletes should be happy to hear that watermelon may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke by reducing cholesterol levels. As mentioned, watermelon is a good source of vitamins A, C, and B6, and others also help support good heart health.
It Can Reduce Pain From Inflammation
Since watermelons have a great combination of antioxidants and vitamins, eating watermelon may reduce the incidence of inflammation and the related oxidative damage other foods may cause. Pain is often the first sign of inflammation, so if you’re feeling some muscle pain, try some watermelon to see if get some relief.
May Help Prevent the Common Age-related Diseases, Macular Degeneration
Some studies have shown that the lycopene found in watermelon MAY, through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helps prevent macular degeneration in adults. Watermelon isn’t a substitute for professional care, so see your doctor if you’re having any vision issues.
If you love watermelon, but you’re tired of eating the watery ones that don’t taste sweet or have much flavor, use these simple tips to your advantage. You’ll need to carefully inspect your watermelon to check its size, shape, and other features it may have.
These features are important to pay attention to because they can signify whether the fruit will taste sweet or not. It can take time to look through the watermelons carefully, but it’s worth it to ensure that you get what you want. Now that you know how to tell if a watermelon is sweet, you can make sure you’re always getting the most flavorful fruit at any store.
Maybe you use other methods to find that special sweet-tasting watermelon. If so, please let me know so I can pass on your “secret” to my readers, they’ll appreciate it. May God Bless this world, Linda.