June 8, 2009

Picking a ripe Citrullus Lanatus

There is NOTHING better than cutting into a watermelon and getting that initial aroma of sweet melony goodness. Or when you split it open and hear the cracking of the thick green peel to reveal the vibrant fuchsia colors inside. The scent travels as juice escapes from beneath - the more palpable the scent the better the flavor. Care for a piece?

So how do you pick the perfect melon? Some people try their luck with a pick-and-go method. They would literally find the watermelons, randomly pick one, and go. It’s like a drive by watermelon-napping. I’ve actually seen a person pick one up and shake one. Some people lack the confidence to pick and just grab the pre-cut, pre-packaged watermelon. Pitiful, to say the least.

What I am about to reveal has been a long-time family secret handed down from generation to generation. My mother knew it, my grandmother knew it, and my great grandmother new it. Now I know it and I would like to share it with anyone who wants a tasty watermelon.

When picking the right melon one should:

First check its shape. Symmetry is the key.

Pay attention to its weight. Watermelons are mostly water so a heavier melon means a juicier melon.

Press the skin of the watermelon in various places of its surface. A good melon will not have any soft spots. Get one that’s as hard as a rock.

Notice the color. A darker green color outside offers a sweeter melon.

Also look for unusual blood-like markings, mold and rot. Obviously avoid thes melons. Check out The Rhetoric of Rhubarb for an interesting piece on Vampire Watermelons.

To check for ripeness, look for the sweet spot. Search for a yellow spot on the melon. This is where it sat during its growth period. The yellowish color indicates ripeness.

Lastly, go Matthew McConaughey on it and smack it like it’s a bongo drum. Listen for an empty drum-like sound. Like a *Toom-Toom* sound. If it just makes a dense thud sound, drop it like it’s hot and pick another.

That’s it, simple enough. Now you know the family secret. With it, you should be able to pick a ridiculously delicious watermelon for all to enjoy, just on time for the summer.

No comments: