I use these three techniques:
Dark color with a light/yellow patch on one side or corner.
Tap and it reverberates.
It feels heavy.
I just get a feeling...if I spot one in a bunch that "calls" to me.
My mom says the best ones are light rather than heavy.
When I look at the melons she picks they are very light in color, not very green.
They make a shallow smack, rather than music.
I'm not totally sure of my success rate. I seem to do pretty good, but sometimes I might overbuy or undereat and eat my melons when they are not the best...like having sections of it that are lighter in color and taste different...
I don't really eat my moms melons. She will take 2 weeks to eat a whole watermelon and of course I can eat a whole melon in a day, however she grew up on farms and saw more fruit growing up, so I'm not sure who is right.
We have 3 melons and I'm going to record the way they look before opened, when opened and how they taste and get to the bottom of this once and for all.
Is anyone else willing to share your watermelon stories?
That's interesting on what your mom thinks. What do her melons look like on the inside? I want a melon that has a deep red color, is really sweet and crispy/juicy. Like most people, I just go for the contrasted white belly, a hollow thump, and no green tails. Occasionally I do get a pink melon though, and I may not even eat it...
Possibly the gloss is a determining factor. I've heard not to pick one too shiny nor too dull, which really isn't great advice, so I never took it.
I do the same as you also - color, yellow patch, heaviness, hollow sound when tapped. It usually works for me, but like you I do get the occasional not-so-great melon. Maybe it's just completely random! Right now, though, melons have been amazingly good regardless of how I pick them out :)
My husband says he can tell if it's ripe when you can slightly press in in the end.
I tell by smell. Of course, I am always right so......
Smell at the end is the best way. Keep in mind, however, that if melons are not in season in your area, it is very rare that a store will actually have ripe melons in stock.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when picking a ripe melon from the vine, the stem should come off easily. If a store melon has a little piece of stem sticking off, I think that might indicate it was picked a little too early...
It should reverberate when thumped. I don't know much about the color, though - it would make sense that ripe ones would be darker. Don't trust a non-811 person's advice on ripe melons. If you only eat 1 or 2 pieces at a time, it's easy to eat unripe melon. Same thing with bananas. Unless you are eating 15-25 nanners in one meal, you have no idea what a ripe banana is.
I cannot smell watermelon in the store...I don't remember ever smelling them before they're open. They are in season here, but I wouldn't doubt if the melons they stock in the stores are not local.
I haven't eaten many of her melons...however one time I had some of it and it was very mildly sweet. This time she opened one before I took a picture of it and it is sweet, but it is light in color. Maybe my tastebuds are off a bit because my fruit hasn't been ripening and I haven't had a ton of sweet fruit this past week...mostly just melons.
I'm opening my watermelon today.
I think the thick skin on the watermelons make it hard to smell. However I have rarely eaten a watermelon that wasn't ripe. But yeah, hard to tell in the store. I usually let my watermelons set 2 days or so on the fridge (or some place warm) before eating. For canteloupes and honeydews it's easy to smell.
I'm growing watermelons for the first time this year - only one plant has survived thus far. We had a long wet spring and I guess I transplanted too early. I'm treating the one plant like a newborn. It'll be intersting to see, for one, if I get a watermelon, and two if it's easier to smell it, being non-commercial and organic.