|Florida watermelon with large yellow patch indicating|
After tapping a dozen or so melons, I took a chance and bought one. When I got it home I discovered my tapping/listening for hollow sounds ability was broken. The melon was OK but not as sweet as I was hoping.
I tried several more times but the results were always the same. Finally, I was forced to go back to buying cut pieces of melon.
Then two years ago, at an Atlanta farmers' market, I got a chance to talk to a watermelon farmer. I asked him how he determined when his fruit was at the peak of sweetness. He said he looked for the ones with a large yellow patch on their skin. This told him the melons had been lying in the fields long enough to become very sweet.
He sold me one of his yellow-patched melons. When I got it home I pleasantly surprised to discover it was one of the sweetest melons I had ever tasted.
It's watermelon season now in Florida. And I just bought a melon using the farmer's technique. Mmm...it's crisp, sweet, and delicious and just as good as the watermelon I tried in Georgia.