How do I tell if a watermelon is ripe?
To tell if a watermelon is ripe or not, one must look at a variety of things.
1. The first thing to look at is the stripes. The stripes should be clear and well defined. The smaller cobweb like stripes within the major stripes should be gone. If you see these smaller stripes within the big long stripes the melon isn't fully mature.
2. Look at the bottom or the belly of the melon . It should be yellow and well defined.
3. Look at the stem. It should be green, healthy and partially dry. You don't want a melon that has a wet stem. This indicates disease and the beginning of decay. Plus the stem should be partially sunken into the melon, indicating full maturity was obtained on the vine.
4. The ridges on the melon running with the stripes should be subtle and not very big. If the melon has big ridges on it, it is definitely overripe and hollow.
5. Probably the most important thing to do when choosing a melon is to pat it. The sound generated by patting tells all. The sound should be very solid and have a good vibrating feel back into the hand. It should not have a tight sound like it wants to pop open. This could indicate excessive water or immaturity, either of which results in a bad melon with poor flavor. The sound should not be that of a thud or a dead sound. This indicates overripe, heavy bruising or hollow heart, and that means poor flesh quality and loss of flavor.
6. So, you now have the fundamentals of how to choose a good watermelon.
My last bit of advice to you is this. You can look for all these signs in a watermelon and hope your right. Or you can look for the Kid's Choice label and choose a perfect watermelon every time.