How to pick the perfect watermelon

How to pick the perfect watermelon

That first bite of ice-cold watermelon on a broiling-hot day is, no doubt, what inspired humorist Mark Twain to write, “When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.”

If you’re in the market for a fresh whole melon, the National Watermelon Promotion Board has these recommendations:

  1. Look for a firm, symmetrical melon that’s free of bruises, cuts and dents.

  2. It should feel heavy for its size.

  3. The underside should have a creamy yellow spot from where the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

The percentage of retail watermelons that have seeds has dropped steadily in recent years. That trend is driven by consumer and culinary preferences.

Seedless watermelons are hybrid varieties developed through conventional cross-breeding, not genetically modified organisms. The small white seeds in seedless melons are actually seed coats where a seed did not mature.

For a summer’s worth of watermelon recipes, from cocktails to entrees to desserts, visit the NWPB website at watermelon.org and the North Carolina Watermelon Association site at ncmelons.com.

Watermelon records:

  • The Guinness world record for the most watermelon eaten in 30 seconds was set earlier this year in Mumbai, India, when someone put away 1.1 pounds.
  • The record for watermelon seed spitting has stood since 1995, when a Texan launched one 75 feet, 2 inches.


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