The following was posted here on the What About Watermelon? blog back in 2009. With watermelon picking season just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to give this lesson another look.
MARCY P. OF WEST ISLIP, NY ASKS: What’s the significance of the yellow spot on the outside of the watermelon? I’ve heard that the spot is a good thing, and I’ve heard that it’s a bad thing. What’s the truth?
If it’s the truth you seek, Marcy, you’ve come to the right place. The creamy, yellow, flat spot on the “belly” of the watermelon is where the watermelon lay on the ground during the growing process, and it’s definitely a good thing. In fact, its “yellowness” is a telltale sign that the watermelon is ready to be harvested.
Don’t worry too much about the outside of your watermelon. A big reason watermelon is one of the cleanest fruits in the produce aisle is because of its thick rind, which is capable of taking a lot of abuse while protecting the juicy flesh inside. Your watermelon may have small nicks and scratches. It might even be dirty. As long as the nicks and scratches aren’t deep enough to expose the flesh, you’ll be just fine. I should note, however, that it’s still important to give your watermelon (and all your fruits and vegetables!) a thorough washing before you cut or eat them.
At the end of the day, remember that watermelons are a lot like people. It’s not what’s on the outside – but what’s on the inside – that matters most.