Next time you indulge in a slice of watermelon, relish its hydration and embrace its subtle sweetness, all while knowing that its flavour, or lack thereof, is part of its unique charm!
South Africa welcomes the vibrant summer season with the arrival of juicy, refreshing watermelons. Adorned with vivid colours and its promise of quenching your thirst, watermelon often claims the title of “the quintessential summer fruit”. However, as popular as this fruit may be, there’s also an unpopular opinion associated with it – and that is that it might not be as flavourful as its reputation suggests!
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Frozen rosé and watermelon cocktails
Debunking the myth of flavourful watermelon
While loved for its juicy nature, watermelon’s taste profile can sometimes fall short on the flavour spectrum. And the truth is, when compared to many other fruits bursting with distinct tastes – like strawberries’ sweet tang or the zing of pineapple – watermelon’s flavour is subtly mild or, to some, barely discernible!
Why watermelon is flavourless
The perceived lack of flavour in watermelon stems from its high water content. Comprising mostly of water, this fruit is more about hydration than delivering a robust taste. In other words, its sweetness is often overshadowed by the sheer amount of water, leading to a milder flavour profile that might disappoint those seeking a bold taste experience.
Now, while we acknowledge watermelon generally has a subtle taste, its lack of flavour is usually more apparent when it’s unripe and finding a good watermelon is an art in itself. So, to ensure that you enjoy the sweetest watermelon this summer, follow these tips.
Here are a few tips to ensure you pick a ripe and flavourful watermelon:
- Look for the yellow spot: A creamy, yellow spot on one side indicates the fruit ripened on the vine. The deeper the hue of this spot, the longer it likely ripened, enhancing its sweetness.
- Thump test: Give the watermelon a gentle tap. A ripe one produces a deep, hollow sound rather than a dull thud, indicating its juiciness.
- Heavy for its size: A ripe watermelon tends to be heavier due to its high water content. Heftiness in comparison to its size can signify sweet ripeness.
- Uniform shape: Seek a watermelon that’s uniform in shape without any irregularities. This indicates consistent growth and ripening.
- Smell test: A ripe watermelon often emits a sweet, slightly fruity aroma from the stem end. If you notice a pleasant, fresh scent when you sniff this part of the watermelon, it might indicate that it’s ripe and potentially flavourful.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Watermelon and feta salad
Plus, here’s how to enhance the watermelon experience if you find them a little dull
While watermelon might not boast an explosive flavour profile, there are ways to elevate it! Pairing it with a hint of salt and a squeeze of lime, or combining it with tangy feta cheese, can bring out its subtle sweetness and add layers to the overall eating experience.