In this article, we will answer the question “How to know if the watermelon is good?”, how to tell if the watermelon is bad, and how to store watermelon.
How to know if the watermelon is good?
Look for uniformity in shape
Watermelons come in all shapes and sizes which is not a problem. You need to look for any irregularities such as bumps, cuts, or dents in the watermelon. Cuts or dents indicate pest infestation or possible fungal attack.
The presence of bumps suggests that the watermelons were not properly watered or pollinated during growth.
Feel its weight
As the name also suggests, watermelons are 91% water. Such a high percentage of water coupled with the high fiber content of this fruit makes it quite heavy.
So, when you light your watermelon, you should feel its weight. Eating fruits such as watermelon with a high water and fiber content gives you a feeling of satiety and keeps your calorie intake in check.
Inspect the field spot
The field or ground pot is present below the watermelon. Flip your watermelon to look for a yellow spot. This spot is the connection of the watermelon with the soil during growth.
A large yellow spot is an indicator of a ripe and sweet watermelon. The larger the spot, the greater the time spent by the watermelon on the vine. Unlike the mangoes or peaches, watermelons do not continue ripening after harvest.
Employ the tapping technique
Tapping or slapping the watermelon is not only just fun, it also tells you to determine how ripe your watermelon is. A grave sound upon tapping means a perfectly ripe watermelon. Whereas a hollow sound suggests that your watermelon is overripe.
Check its firmness
The rind of a ripe watermelon is thick and strong. It should not yield to the pressure applied during pressing. The rind of a ripe watermelon does not scar when you try to scratch it with your nail.
Inspect the tail
The tail or the piece of stem that stays intact after the harvesting is an important factor in determining the freshness of your watermelon. A ripe watermelon will have a dry stem or tendril while an unripe watermelon will have a green stem.
If you are buying your watermelons at the grocery store, the tendril cannot be checked as it is removed before displaying the fruit. But you can check it if you are growing watermelons in your home garden or buying it from the farmer’s market.
How to tell if the watermelon is bad?
Discolored spots: The presence of discolored spots on the rind of the watermelon is a sign of fungus or bacteria.
Mushy flesh: If the flesh of the watermelon looks water-soaked, mushy, and dark, it is either moldy or simply contains abnormal amounts of water.
Target cluster: The presence of concentric circles that resemble the target sign is an indication of a viral attack.
Ringworm injury: This injury appears as an irregular white to the light brown pattern on the skin of the watermelon rind. It is a sign that your watermelon has been the insect fodder.
Internal rind spots: Tan or brown dry spots on the underside of the rind signal a possible bacterial attack.
Sour or tangy smell: If your watermelon gives off a tangy or fermented smell instead of a sweet and pleasant aroma, it has gone bad.
How to store watermelon?
Whole and uncut watermelon lasts about 1-2 weeks at room temperature and 1 week in the fridge. Room temperature or fridge, make sure the temperature is maintained.
Lastly, store your watermelon away from climacteric fruits that emit ethylene gas. This includes apples, bananas, etc. This gas can quickly degrade the quality of watermelon.
Cut or sliced watermelon should be stored in the fridge. Put the slices in an air-tight container. Alternatively, you can put the fruit pieces on a plate and cover them with cling film. Do not keep cut watermelon for more than 5 days in the fridge.
If you are a smoothie-lover, this hack would make your life much easier. Frozen watermelon chunks are super convenient to use and last quite long as compared to refrigerated watermelon.
Start by cutting the watermelon into chunks. Then remove the seeds by piercing the flesh using the tip of the knife. Spread the de-seeded watermelon chunks onto a baking tray such that the pieces do not touch.
Put the frozen watermelon chunks into a freezer bag. Squeeze the air from the bag and chuck it into the freezer. Toss the chunks into the blender when making sorbets or smoothies. Do not defrost as it can leave the watermelon mushy.
In this article, we answered the question “How to know if the watermelon is good?”, how to tell if the watermelon is bad, and how to store watermelon.