Improve your odds of scoring the sweetest melon this Saturday at the Franklin Farmers market by following our simple guide to choosing the best watermelon. Our crackerjack team of market experts has pulled together research, observations, and experience from farmers and other agricultural experts to ensure your selection is juicy, ripe, and sweet. Watermelon season maybe waning at the Franklin Farmers Market this week, but there’s no reason to not be equipped with the most accurate information on how to choose the best.
To thump or not to thump? Watermelon season at the Franklin Farmers Market can sound something like a drum circle with all the thumping, knocking, and rind-tapping our shoppers are doing to find the perfect one. But do all these percussive measures matter when it comes to choosing the best watermelon? It depends, experts say. A heavy watermelon filled with juice is certainly an indicator of ripeness, but since determining deep or hollow sounds can be difficult, go with the heaviness test, instead, and give that puppy a lift! A watermelon that is heavy for its size is a more effective way of determining whether you’ve got a juicy, ripe specimen or a less-than-stellar dud.
The uglier the yellow-spot, the better. It’s true! The creamy-yellow “belly spot” or “field spot” on the underside is a great indicator of ripeness when it comes to choosing the best watermelon. This yellow blotch is caused from having direct contact with the soil as the watermelon ripened in the field. In other words, watermelons with gnarly yellow bellies were vine-ripened and not prematurely harvest, which is exactly what you’re looking for when determining a sweet melon over a bland one. FYI: A watermelon harvested at the appropriate time can be matured or ripened for a few days at room temperature, but if the watermelon was picked from the vine too early, it may never fully ripen.
Symmetry is Supreme. This is not only how humans determine beauty in faces, but how to determine a supreme melon over a shoddy one. When choosing the best watermelon, selections should be symmetrical and blunt on both ends, not pointy or misshapen. A pointed-end or irregularly shaped watermelon could be the result of poor pollination and may not have fully matured. Tip: Also choose a melon with a smooth, dark green, dull rind.
Farmers Know Best. Finally, ask your farmer! Our farmers are the agriculture experts at the Franklin Farmers Market and are pleased to answer any questions you may have. Plus, shopping at the Franklin Farmers Market takes a lot of the mystery out of choosing a ripe watermelon, since our farmers harvest watermelons at the appropriate time to ensure high-quality and ripeness. So come out to the market for the final week of watermelon season and taste the sweetness of summer one last time.