ANITA B. FROM TULSA, OK, ASKS: Hello there! I was just wondering if watermelon with seeds is better than seedless watermelon. I’ve heard that watermelon with seeds is better, but I’m not really sure!
That’s a great question, Anita. As many watermelon fans have probably figured out, it’s becoming harder to find watermelon with seeds (or “seeded” watermelon). In 2003, 42 percent of watermelons sold in grocery stores had seeds. Today, only 16 percent have seeds.
For the most part, that’s a good thing. To answer your question in a general sense, there’s really no difference between seedless and seeded watermelon when it comes to taste. As far as the experience goes, most would agree that not having to deal with seeds is a good thing.
Truth is, a watermelon’s flavor is impacted by lots of different factors (the seeds aren’t really one of them). Taste can be greatly influenced by things like the time of year it was harvested, the amount of rain the region received, the general climate it was grown in, how much sun it soaked up, the type of soil, and several other variables.
For more info on this issue, I turned to Stephanie Barlow at the National Watermelon Promotion Board. She has a watermelon IQ that’s off the charts, which is why I get her take when I have a question that requires technical input. Here’s what Stephanie had to say:
“This is an age-old debate, that’s for sure! The fact is, all watermelon grown and sold for commercial use (to be sold at your local grocery store) must meet a minimum brix level, or sweetness level. Most watermelon exceeds that level, with some having a slightly higher brix level depending on the seed variety and some of the other factors you discussed earlier.”
So there you have it. Bottom line: you can’t go wrong with either variety. If you’re just looking for a quick, no-hassle snack, seedless watermelon is your best option. If you want something to snack on that will also provide projectiles you can spit at your annoying relatives during this year’s family reunion, you’ll probably want the seeded kind.