I'm aware that this may be perceived by some as un-American, but I have never been a big fan of what many people consider the ultimate summer fruit, watermelon. Oh, I like watermelon-flavored items, all right, sparkling water, candy, gummies, Jello, bring them on!

But the fruit itself, for me, not so much. Part of it is a texture thing. Part of it is the seeds. Part of it is having to butcher the melon to get it into edible bites. And yes, I know you can get seedless watermelons now, but as a kid that was not an option. Plus, have you seen the prices of pre-cut fruit at the grocery stores? Unreal!

My mom and younger sister use to love having seed-spitting contests and were blissfully happy digging face-first into a juicy red wedge. Whenever I did that, my silly, sensitive skin would break out in a watermelon rash. Crunching down on the giant black seeds, literally set my teeth on edge.

I will only consume watermelon now when someone offers it at a family or friends' gathering, and only if it has been carved within an inch of its life into bite-sized pieces.

But all of that aside, what do you need to do to get a perfect watermelon, if indeed you want one? After checking multiple sources, the consensus is that these tips are the way to go.

  • Watermelons don't ripen any further after they're picked, so it's important to make sure you get a ripe one.
  • Choose a deep green melon, if it is light or yellowish in color, it wasn't on the vine long enough and isn't fully ripe.
  • Pick up the fruit, it should feel heavy for its size, no matter what size it is.
  • Look for the spot where it rested on the ground. if it is yellow or cream-colored, it is ripe, if the patch is white or light green, it isn't.
  • Thump your melon right on the ground spot. It should sound deep and hollow. Underripe or overripe watermelons will have dull, kind of muted, sound.

I have to admit that I just read a recipe for a Watermelon Slushie spiked with vodka, and now I truly want one! Perhaps there is hope for me to make peace with watermelon, after all!

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