Any way you slice it, watermelon tastes like summer. Sure, you can buy watermelons off-season, but there’s nothing like the juicy pink fruit at the height of summer.
Still, sometimes you pick a stinker: The fruit is not quite ripe, or–equally distasteful–it’s too ripe.
Ideally, watermelon flesh is firm, flavorful, and, of course, watery.
But in a Denver grocery store or at a farmer’s market, how do you pick a perfect watermelon?
Here’s a tip I learned years ago while on assignment in Southern California. I met a man named Juan who worked at a large fruit market in Los Angeles. I grilled him about picking fruit, and his tip on watermelon did not involve the usual thumping. Rather, Juan advised me to look for what he called “bee bites” on the skin of watermelons.
“That means they’re sweet,” Juan said. “The bees know!”
So when you’re attempting to pick a watermelon perfect inside, look for an imperfect exterior. Bee bites appear as scaly, light brown patches on the outsides of watermelons. The more bee bites, the better your melon. Ever since Juan let me in on his fruity secret, I seem to pick mouth-watering watermelons.
••• “Cultivate your corner of the world. You grow your garden; your garden grows you.” •••
Friday Jones Publishing will release Colleen Smith’s playful new book “Laid-Back Skier” for fall 2011.
Colleen Smith’s first novel, “Glass Halo”— a finalist for the 2010 Santa Fe Literary Prize — is available in hardcover or e—book.
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