The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Let’s Talk Watermelons!

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Watermelon)

I love summer. And not just because it’s the opposite of winter. Summer brings with it a wealth of sunshine (an embarrassment of riches, really), an abundance of play time, and more varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables than you can shake a stick at. (Do people really shake sticks at anything? Have you seen this stick-shaking activity in your everyday travels? Enlighten me, please.)

For me, if there’s one fruit that screams “summer’s here!” loud and clear, it’s the watermelon. Okay, and strawberries. Peaches. Pineapple. But mostly watermelon. When I imagine summer picnics and fruity desserts, I usually picture a chubby-cheeked little boy happily chomping on a watermelon wedge, juice running down his arms, with a blissful look of satisfaction on his face. Watermelon is refreshing, hydrating, sweet, and if you stick a little funnel in it and infuse it with alcohol, it can be a little naughty too.

So let’s talk about watermelons today! Tell us:

Do you have any favorite tips for choosing, serving, or storing watermelon?

My mom taught me to look for a watermelon with a flat, yellow part where it would have sat on the ground. She said that means the watermelon spent time ripening on the ground, and wasn’t picked too early. My biggest challenge is finding space in the fridge to store 3/4 of a watermelon after we’ve cut into it. Well, maybe that’s my second-biggest challenge. Maybe my biggest challenge is that I’m allergic to watermelons but eat them anyway. Because apparently, I have little self-control when it comes to watermelon drinks. And watermelon granita, like the one in the photo above. Spiked or otherwise.

How about you? Are you a watermelon fan? Have you had those yellow watermelons or the square ones? Any recipes to share? (Agua fresca!) Any tips for picking a good one, or even growing them? Come share!



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Dyson on 8.8.2015

Both pros and cons of watermelon experience are welcome on this thread. Lets make this agricultural goldmine comely to others.

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Donna H on 7.31.2015

My dad could tell a ripe watermelon by thumping it. I thump them and they all sound the same to me. I can’t remember what he said how to tell if ripe, he’s been gone for along time. I remember him plugging the watermelon with a little square, then put it back in the melon. Of course I don’t remember what happen to the melon if it wasn’t ripe. I guess it sit there until it ripen! Growing up dad and mom always had a huge garden, planted everything. I always cut it up in chunks before it goes into the fridge. It’s a lot easier to grab and eat.

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peej2 on 7.31.2015

Monday is National Watermelon Day! “They” tell us to choose a watermelon that is heavy for it’s size. Man…did I get a whopper. Seedless so not too big but it is heavy!
I saw a clip from you tube, I think, showing how to cut a watermelon that you cut the watermelon in half, cut all the rind off, with the cut side down, slice it into “fingers,” put a bowl over it on the cutting board, flip it. Then you can just take the fingers out and eat them. It’s great.
My oldest son likes Watermelon water. I love it cold with salt. Still trying to get my granddaughter to try it (and cantaloupe).

Ami A in LA on 7.30.2015

We love to make watermelon margarita’s! To get the fresh juice, I puree watermelon in food processor or blender & then run through a fine mesh strainer. Freeze in ice cube trays if not using right away. Then pull out a few and throw them in with the margarita’s in the blender – waa laa! Super yummy & summery!

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C. L. ( Cheryl ) "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser on 7.30.2015

At every holiday picnic, BBQ we have 2-3 whole watermelons in a tub with ice. When ready to cut into slices I cut the melon in half lengthwise and slice in 2-3″ wide slices. I always try to find seedless watermelons (stops the spitting of seeds everywhere by the children, LOL). Love watermelon and they are as ripe in Florida as they can be-no special tricks to picking them out; they’re all ripe and ready to devour! YUM! Happy Thursday everyone.

Mary on 7.30.2015

I love watermelon and it is delicious with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. To minimize the mess, I cut up and store my watermelon in food service plastic boxes or in the plastic boxes I’ve saved from spinach and salad greens. They are rectangular and stack nicely in the fridge.

kim on 7.30.2015

I also look for the yellow patch on the underside of a watermelon. Works every time for me. I’m lamenting the demise of seeded watermelons. Am I the only one who thinks the older traditional varieties have better flavor?

Unless I’m buying a melon to serve a crowd, like Beth I cut it up before it ever goes in the fridge. I have large flat rectangular containers that fit the bottom shelf, and we too find we eat it more readily if it’s already cut up, ready to enjoy or pack in our lunches.

For nostalgia, though, nothing beats a thick half moon of watermelon, eaten outdoors with juice running down to the elbows!

Patty Paulsen on 7.30.2015

My grampa taught me to look for beestings–he said a bee would only look for sweet. I also thump, and love the thumping tips from Ranger S! Will try that this weekend at the farmer’s market!

Ranger S on 7.30.2015

My parents taught me how to choose a ripe watermelon. It works but looks a bit strange: if you knock on your forehead with a knuckle, that is the sound an unripe watermelon gives out if you thump it with a knuckle. Knock on your chest with a knuckle and you will hear the sound a perfect melon gives off when thumped. Knock on your stomach and you will hear the sound an overripe melon makes when thumped.

It really is pretty accurate. My dad could thump a melon and tell how ripe it was. He had done it so many times that he remembered the sounds he heard when he knocked on his forehead (unripe), chest (ripe), and stomach (overripe).

Beth B. on 7.30.2015

To fit in the frig, I cut up the watermelon into chunks and put in a gallon baggie. It saves room and is easy and convenient and ready to snack on.

Verlene on 7.29.2015

I love watermelon. I thump them. If they sound ‘hollow’ they taste sweet. Usually! To pick a cantelope, smell them. They taste just like they smell. Love them too.