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July 25, 2011 - Blaine Hyska
My first steady paycheck came from working at a produce market.
It was an early-spring-to-late-autumn job I held while attending high school. We sold fruit, vegetables, juice, cheese and gift items to tourists.
Customers would come in and sniff, pinch and touch the peaches, apples, grapes and melons. Some looked like experts. I’m not sure they knew what they were doing, but it worked for them.
After four years there, I got pretty good at selecting produce.
To this day, however, I’ve never been able to select a watermelon with any certainty.
Most times, I get lucky. Today’s farmers help, too.
They don’t generally send bad melons to market, so the odds of picking a ripe one are pretty good.
Now, the Produce for Better Health Foundation has my back.
The foundation has issued some tips to solve this mystery.
According to the experts, you should choose symmetrical watermelons with dried stems and yellowish undersides that are dull in color.
A white underside indicates immaturity.
The best watermelons will feel heavy for their size, the foundation says.
Hold the watermelon in one hand and thump it lightly with the other hand. You should feel the vibrations in the bottom hand.
Watermelons do not continue to ripen after harvest.
And remember, after you cut it, refrigerate the leftovers.
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