Watermelon Selection and Preparation

watermelon

(Photo by Alice Henneman)

My latest CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box courtesy of Pekarek’s Produce contained a large, luscious watermelon. What’s the best way to eat a watermelon that already looks and tastes great? Just slice it, bite into it and enjoy! Here are a few tips on selecting, storing and preparing a great-tasting watermelon …

Selecting a Watermelon

The National Watermelon Promotional Board says it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to select a great-tasting watermelon.

  1. Choose a firm, symmetrical watermelon without bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift the melon … it should be heavy for its size.
  3. Look at the underside of the melon. It should have a creamy yellow spot in the area where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Storing and Preparing a Watermelon

A watermelon will maintain good quality for about 7 to 10 days when stored at room temperature. After cutting a watermelon, keep it at room temperature no longer than two hours, total time. Refrigerated watermelon tastes best the next day but should maintain a satisfactory quality for about 3 to 4 days.

Wash the outer surface of a watermelon under cool, running tap water and scrub with a clean produce brush before cutting. This prevents any bacteria on the outside of the watermelon from being transferred to the inside flesh.

Washing a watermelon under cool running water and scrubbing with a clean produce brush

Placing a watermelon in a strainer that fits across the sink makes it easier to wash. Note the the creamy yellow spot where the melon sat on the ground while it ripened … one sign of a good-tasting watermelon. (Photo by Alice Henneman)

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