Image of a Watermelon

Watermelon


Selection Information


Usage: Raw in fruit salads or in fruit platters.

Selection: Good-quality watermelon will be firm, evenly-shaped, heavy for its size and have a deep-pitched tone when slapped with an open palm. One of the easiest methods is to simply turn the melon over. If the underside is yellow, and the rind overall has a healthy sheen, the melon is most probably ripe. The flesh of cut melons should have a fresh, firm texture, and the seeds should be fully mature and hard. Watermelons do not ripen any further once they are cut from the vine.

Avoid: Avoid product that is partially white or pale green, soft overall, has soft spots or is leaking a milky-white fluid. Melons shouldn't have any dents, bruises or cuts, but marks left from insect bites will not affect the melon's flavor. When using the open palm technique for ripeness, avoid melons with a high-pitched tone or a dead, thudding sound.


Seasonal Information


Watermelon is available year-round due to imports from Mexico. Domestic melons are available from May through October, with May through August as peak season.

Watermelons are grown in 44 of the continental United States. Most watermelons purchased in the West are grown in California and Arizona, but Florida, Texas and Georgia are also leading producer states.


Watermelon Nutritional Information


Serving Size: 154g

Amount Per Serving

 

Calories46
Calories from Fat 0

 

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 0

0% 

Cholesterol 0mg

0% 

Sodium 2mg

0% 

Total Carbohydrate 12g

4% 

Dietary Fiber 1g

2% 

Sugars 10g

 

Protein 1g

 

Vitamin A 18%

Vitamin C 21%

Calcium 1%

Iron 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Source: PMA's Labeling Facts


 


Seedless Watermelons are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They'realso a good source of Potassium, and a very good source ofVitamin A and Vitamin C.


Watermelon Tips & Trivia

  • With an open palm, slap the watermelon. A high-pitched tone indicates green or under-ripe product. A dull sound or dead thud indicates an over-ripe melon. A deep-pitched tone indicates a melon that is ripe. Slap a number of melons one after the other and you will be able to hear the differences in tone. Small melons are the hardest to test for ripeness since most will sound green even if they are ripe. If you need a small amount of watermelon, it is best to buy a piece of a larger one. It may be more expensive per pound, but you will be more likely to get good flavor.
  • Watermelon, considered one of America's favorite fruits, is really a vegetable (Citrullus lanatus). Cousin to the cucumber and kin to the gourd, watermelons can range in size from 7 to 100 pounds.
  • Today, there are more than 200 varieties of watermelon grown around the world, with 50 varieties making their home in the U.S.
  • The world record for the largest watermelon grown is 255 pounds, grown by Vernon Conrad of Bixby, Oklahoma!
  • The world record for watermelon seed-spitting is 66'11", held by Jack Dietz of Chicago.
  • Americans purchase and consume about 3 billion pounds of watermelon annually.
  • Historians say watermelons first grew in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. They were a source of water for thirsty traders, who began to sell the seeds in cities along the ancient Mediterranean trade routes.
  • Cultivation of watermelon spread throughout Africa and, by the 1600s, watermelon made its way to Great Britain, Spain, China and beyond. Watermelon arrived in North America courtesy of European colonists and African slaves.
  • Russians make beer out of watermelon juice.
  • During the Civil War, the Confederate Army boiled down watermelons as a source of sugar and molasses.
  • Melons may be kept at room temperature, un-cut, for about two weeks. Store whole melons at 50-60°F. Cut melons should be wrapped and stored at 40-50°F.

Yield: Based on average 20-pound and 30-pound watermelon sliced 1/2 inch thick for garnishes and 3/4 inch thick for buffets.

20 lb. melon
Number of 1/2-inch wedges (1/6 slice) 138
Number of 3/4-inch wedges (1/6 slice) 90

30 lb. melon
Number of 1/2-inch wedges (1/6 slice) 192
Number of 3/4-inch wedges (1/6 slice) 126


There are about 200 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States. All varieties can be classified into four general categories: Picnic, Ice-box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.

Picnic
· 15-45 pounds
· Red or yellow flesh
· Round or oblong
· Light to dark-green rind, with or without stripes


Ice-box
· 5-15 pounds
· Red or yellow flesh
· Round
· Dark or light-green rind

Seedless
· 10-25 pounds
· Red or yellow flesh
· Oval to round
· Light-green rind with dark-green stripes

Yellow flesh
· 10-30 pounds
· Oblong to long
· Light-green rind with mottled stripes
· Yellow to bright-orange flesh

Taken from http://www.produceoasis.com/Items_folder/Fruits/Watermelon.html