There are a few tricks to picking a great watermelon:

  1. Choose one that is symmetrical.

  2. It should be dull, not shiny.

  3. Check the belly, where it was on the ground. It should be yellow, not white.

  4. Gently scratch the rind with a fingernail. The rind should come up easily.

  5. Seeded watermelons should have no stem, which means the melon was ripe enough to slide easily off the vine. Black crystallized sugar around the stem means there is good sugar content.

  6. Hold the melon and slap it with one hand. You should feel it vibrate. If it doesn’t, the melon most likely is mushy.