Watermelon, a juicy symbol of refreshment, brings thoughts of hot summer days – and enjoyment.

How do you pick it?

Some people just tap the watermelon and listen for a “thump,” but you can also:

• Look it over. Choose a firm symmetrical melon free of bruises, cuts and dents.

• Lift it up. The watermelon should feel heavy for its size. It is 92 percent water.

• Turn it over. On the underside there should be a creamy, yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

How do you store it?

• Cold can injure your melon. A thermometer reading of 55 F is ideal. Whole melons will keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature, but don’t keep them too long because they’ll lose flavor and texture.

Lower temperatures cause chill injury. After a couple of days at 32 F, watermelons develop an off-flavor, become pitted and lose color. Freezing breaks down the rind and produces a mealy, mushy texture. Once a melon is cut, wrap and store it at 37 F to 39 F.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board.

On the Web:


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.