Watermelon season is underway in the Chesapeake Bay region. Here are some tips from National Watermelon Promotion Board:
You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for it’s size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
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.
A thermometer reading of 55° F is ideal. However, whole melons will keep for 7 to 10 days at room temperature. Store them too long, and they’ll lose flavor and texture. After cutting, store watermelon in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Lower Temperatures Cause Chill Injury
After two days at 32° F, watermelons develop an off-flavor, become pitted and lose color. Freezing causes rind to break down and produces a mealy, mushy texture. Once a melon is cut, it should be wrapped and stored at 36° – 39°F.
Removing Seeds Is A Breeze
Although a majority of watermelons available are seedless, these instructions will remove seeds quickly and easily: Wash and quarter a whole melon, then cut each quarter into three or four wedges. Cut lengthwise along the seed line with a paring knife, and lift off piece. Using a fork, scrape seeds both from the removed piece and the remaining flesh on the rind. Use for cubes or continue with recipe.
Here’s How to Slice a Watermelon
And for carving tips, check this out.