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Picking the Perfect Watermelon

Is there anything better than a slice of watermelon on a summer day? Everyone’s expectations are high when a watermelon is being cut, and that means you shouldn’t leave anything to chance while you are at the store. July is National Watermelon Month, and we have some tips to help you pick the perfect watermelon to impress at your 4th of July party.

1. Look for the yellow spot

When it is ripe, a watermelon will have a yellow spot on the bottom. This is known as a “field spot” and it is the number one indicator that you have picked a good melon. The more yellow the spot is, the riper the watermelon is!  

2. Check that stem

We know it sounds wrong, but the stem of the watermelon should be dead! When the stem is still green, it could mean that your melon wasn’t quite ready to be picked. Don’t be alarmed by the dry stem, that means that the melon was picked right on time and will be nice and sweet.

3. No need to thump

It is a common myth that thumping a melon is a fool-proof indicator of ripeness, however, Manuel Salinas of Emmett says this isn’t always true. Since each watermelon grows a little differently, the rind can vary in thickness which alters the sound we hear. If you want to maximize your chances of getting a sweet melon, it is better to rely on the appearance of the stem and the presence of a field spot

4. Choose Arkansas

It’s easy to be disappointed when a watermelon doesn’t meet expectations. Luckily, finding a good watermelon in Arkansas is not a difficult task. Arkansas is known for producing some of the sweetest watermelons in the world, however the state remains divided on which town produces the best. So, whether you are picking the perfect summer fruit in Cave City or searching for the largest grower in Hope (the heaviest is recorded at 268.8 pounds), you are sure to find some of the sweetest watermelons right here in the Natural State.

Visit Cave City’s 40th Annual Watermelon Festival which runs from July 28-30 or the 46th Annual Hope Watermelon Festival which takes place August 11-13.

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