Shopper shares hack to score the best tasting watermelon: 'Is this true?'

Everyone has their own way of picking a ripe watermelon, but here's what an expert has to say.

Woman picking up good watermelon in shop for vegetarian meal.
Shoppers shared their tried and tested methods for picking the perfect watermelon. Photo: Getty

There’s nothing worse than getting home from the shops only to find your fruit and vegetables overripe or inedible, especially given the rising cost of living. But one woman says she’s found the perfect hack to ensure their freshness.

Sharing her tips on Facebook, the woman said it was particularly hard to know what was fresh in produce you can’t see, like watermelon or rockmelon. “My dad taught me that the uglier the watermelon, the sweeter it is,” she said of picking a whole ripe watermelon.

She explained that the more “dark and dull” the watermelon was on the outside, the sweeter it was on the inside.


However, not everyone thought her method would work, with others sharing their own methods.

"I knock on them, but I don’t exactly know what I’m listening for (I see everyone else doing it). I got a 50/50 average rate of getting a sweet one," one person joked. Others suggested that smelling melons was the way to determine ripeness.

The woman also shared a diagram and her post, which got people in the comments talking.

Diagram shows what to look for in a watermelon.
The shopper shared a diagram that spells out what to look for in the perfect watermelon. Source: Facebook

"So I am looking for a heavy uniformed dark watermelon with large webbing? Ok, check!" one person said, while another questioned: "Is this true?"

While the theory that the uglier or duller the watermelon on the outside the sweeter it is on the inside may seem strange, food scientist and nutrition researcher Dr Vincent Candrawinata — known as Dr Vincent — who has spent years studying fruit and vegetables, agrees that it’s a sure way to know that fruit is ready to eat.

“Growing up, my mum always said that we don’t want to buy fruit that is not ripe because it’s a waste of money,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Dr Vincent said the diagram made a lot of sense. “All of the indicators are based on science. For example, the elongated shape of a watermelon indicates uneven sun exposure and/or water distribution during growth,” he explained.

Dr Vincent explains how to pick a ripe watermelon
Dr Vincent agrees that the uglier the outside the sweeter the inside, but says the sound test is the best method to use. Photo: Supplied/Getty

He said the following key indicators will ensure the produce selected is right every time:

The watermelon should have a deep green colour, and the part of the watermelon that was resting on the ground (called the field spot) should be creamy yellow, not white.

“The colour of a watermelon can tell a lot about its ripeness. A deep green colour indicates that the watermelon has had enough time to develop its full flavour. The creamy yellow field spot is where the watermelon was resting on the ground and wasn't exposed to sunlight,” he said.

If you happen to spot a creamy yellow or light brown spot it’s best to leave that watermelon at the shops. This suggests it had adequate time to ripen on the vine, while a white or very pale spot can indicate it was picked too early.

If you’re after a juicy, ripe watermelon, expect it to be heavy!

“Watermelons are mostly water (about 90%), so a ripe watermelon will feel heavy for its size. This weight is a good indicator that the watermelon is full of juice and has a dense, sweet flesh,” Dr Vincent says.

He adds that the shape should be “uniform” which indicates it was grown without stress, while irregular shapes suggest inconsistent flavour distribution within the fruit, so it won’t taste great!

Dr Vincent says testing the weight of a watermelon is a good way to tell how it will taste. Credit: Getty Images
Dr Vincent says testing the weight of a watermelon is a good way to tell how it will taste. Credit: Getty Images

Everyone has seen that one person at the shops awkwardly knocking on watermelon, but it turns out it works.

“A ripe one will have a deep, hollow sound, while under or overripe melons will sound dull,” Dr Vincent says.

“When you knock or tap on the surface, a ripe watermelon will produce a deep, hollow sound due to the vibration of its dense, watery flesh. If the watermelon is underripe, it will sound more solid and less resonant because the flesh is firmer and less juicy.”


Dr Vincent said you don’t want a watermelon that has any soft spots or that is difficult to scratch.

“If the rind feels soft or gives under slight pressure, it’s likely overripe, which can lead to a mushy texture inside. A hard, undamaged rind is a good sign that the watermelon has maintained its structural integrity throughout the picking process.”

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