Saturday, June 20, 2015

Watermelon Pick N Cut

It's a good time of the year to have your pick of watermelons for quality, quantity, and price. My picking method is the one that a cousin told me about her father using—"Pick the ugly one." My method of cutting chunks and storing unused the unused portion for later cuts helps prevent mushiness, thus, extending the refrigerator life of the melon.

The upper pixstrip shows the pick and preparation process. (The melon was from late last season) The lower pixstrip shows circled areas of "ugly" areas for a watermelon I bought a couple of weeks ago, some of which is still in the fridge. BTW, I highly recommend seedless ones for great taste while avoiding the seed hassle for eaters.

Picking a Watermelon
The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) advises a short list for picking a watermelon (lightly edited for punctuation and spelling):
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
  1. Look the watermelon over.
    You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift it up.
    The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
  3. Turn it over.
    The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
View the association's YouTube video. After viewing, you can click links to videos from others about picking watermelons. (It's nice that YouTube displays similar-theme links at current URLs.) Having viewed a few other videos, I'd say a common method is to look for the yellow patch, which pickers say indicates the melon was ripened on the vine—a good thing.

A little elaboration about the "pick the ugly" advice. Per the relative, a melon that has lots of (surface) scars and strafe-like markings indicate bugs' past attempts to get at the sweetness. So, I infer that if melons have smooth complexions, they're not so sweet, and bugs don't bother. Look again at my pixstrip with the circled defects. Ain't the melon an ugly beaut!

Cutting a Watermelon
The National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) has advice about carving a watermelon—decorative cutting besides merely for consumption. If you prefer more direct cutting instructions, visit the following YouTube links for cutting chunks and spears:
My own cutting method differs from the methods that of the videos because I cut only a few rings worth at a time, refrigerating the remainder. A large mixing bowl cradles the rounded end, and food wrap covers the cut end.

When I'm ready to cut another serving bowl's worth, I pull out the mixing bowl, lift the wrap, slice and chunk another ring or two of melon, and re-cover and re-refrigerate the bowl. Using the mixing bowl method of storage, the melon can stay fresh (sweet, not deteriorated, not mushy) for WEEKS!

Image descriptions of the upper pixstrip, which shows the pick, wash, cut, and store process:
  1. Dashed outline showing two images of a melon
    1. Yellow spot with "attack" markings
    2. Another attack marking on another side of the melon
  2. Melon in sink with nail brush under running water
  3. Large plate with knife, and the whole melon inside a large glass mixing bowl
  4. Dashed outline showing two cutting-process images
    1. Some melon rings and small-cut end, and the remainder of the melon in the mixing bowl with food wrap on it
    2. Rinds, and chunked watermelon in serving bowl
  5. Dashed outline showing subsequent cutting-process images
    1. Remainder watermelon tipped onto plate with knife inserted for cutting a ring
    2. Ring, rind, and chunked watermelon in serving bowl (rewrapped melon not shown)
An idea I might adopt for future watermelon cutting might be to slice some rings onto a plate, make all the cuts while leaving the rinds in place, remove the rinds, then shove the fruit into a serving bowl.


JLF said...


You know it's my favorite fruit. Thanks so much for this. See ya soon, I hope.

whilldtkwriter said...

YW! The one I cut this year yielded so much fruit that I have passed on buying any more for the season. Kinda thought about maybe tomorrow's store trek, but I remember they're selling seedless dark grapes for 88 cents/pound.

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