Growing your own fruit certainly has its benefits. But it also takes work, patience, and a bit of skill.
One way to still enjoy the freshest, best-tasting produce is to visit your nearest farmer’s market and buy locally-grown alternatives to the stuff you can find at the supermarket.
Statistics show that more than 82 million people in the US purchase locally grown food, which is great news!
But when you’re picking out produce, how can you find the best of the best?
Take watermelons, for example. There’s a lot more to know about this popular fruit than you might realize.
Whether you’ve never shopped for watermelons before or you just want to brush up on your fruit picking knowledge, here’s what to look for when choosing a watermelon to take home, according to Grateful.
1. Look for stripes
First off, look for a watermelon that has a strong and consistent stripey pattern. If it’s just one color, it probably won’t be very tasty. The green should be deep, dark and rich, and the pale stripes should be creamy, pale yellow.
2. Look for the spot
At the base of the watermelon, look for a large, pale spot that indicates how it sat on the ground. Make sure that the spot is the same pale, creamy yellow color as the pale stripes across the skin of the fruit.
3. Look for a yellowy-brown stem
The best-tasting watermelon will have a yellowy-brown stem, indicating that it has been ripened on the vine, which will give it the chance to soak up nutrients and mature in flavor. A watermelon that has been picked too early, on the other hand, will have a green stem – and it’ll have less sweetness and overall flavor.
4. Knock on the watermelon
It might look a little stranger to passers-by, but hey, knocking on a watermelon proves you’re truly an expert. You need to listen for a deep hollow sound. If the sound isn’t hollow, it’s likely that the rind – the ring of white stuff that surrounds the fruit beneath the skin – is too thick.
5. Look for dry, weathered spots
Next, look for spots on the outside of the watermelon that are grey and black, textured and rough to touch. These spots are actually a good sign – they indicate that the watermelon has spent enough time on the vine, and the inside will be extra-sweet.
6. Check for “give”
The outside of a watermelon shouldn’t be too firm. It should have a little bit of give when you press against it. If it’s too tough on the outside, it won’t taste as nice.
7. The rounder, the sweeter
If you’re a fan of sweet watermelon (and who isn’t?), this is something to remember. The rounder, ball-shaped watermelons tend to be sweeter than the oval-shaped fruits.
8. Shop in-season
If you’re shopping for watermelons at your local farmer’s market, they’ll only be available from May to September, when they’re in season. This is when they’ll taste nicest. You might find watermelons at a supermarket out of season, but they won’t taste as good as the locally-grown in season stuff.
And that’s it: how to pick the best watermelon.
By following the steps above, you should feel confident that you can choose the sweetest, tastiest watermelon from a local seller.
If you’re more of a visual learner, the video below gives examples of the watermelons to choose, and the watermelons to avoid!
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