Hollow Heart in Watermelon

I miss watermelon season! In the past few months, I have been cutting and eating several watermelons. Check out the past FoodMeOmaha post, “FoodMeTrivia Series #4: Watermelon Basics”.

Among the several watermelons, I discovered one that stood out among the rest. On August 19th, I cut a “normal” watermelon in half and then I was surprised by the insides…

Watermelon with Hollow Heart

It looked like someone purposefully carved out a biohazard symbol! What caused this symmetrical structure? Is it safe to eat?

Watermelon with Hollow HeartWatermelon with Hollow Heart

The exposed watermelon flesh is whitish, dry, and rubbery.

After some googling, I learned that this is a watermelon with a hollow heart. The internal pattern naturally happens due to poor pollination during the growth process.

Fortunately, this intriguing watermelon is safe to eat. The dry parts were discarded and the remaining watermelon was eaten. While I had less watermelon to eat, the taste quality was not impacted. In fact, it was a wonderfully juicy and sweet.

Still curious about the hollow heart watermelon? Here are some online resources about the natural hollow heart occurrence in watermelons.

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FoodMeTrivia Series #4: Watermelon Basics

Watermelon is a sweet, refreshing, healthy snack that FoodMeOmaha cannot get enough of. This summer I have been on a watermelon kick (seven watermelons so far)!

Watermelon

Ready-to-eat, chilled cut watermelon has been my daily snack. Due to my watermelon kick, I have learned some watermelon basics.


Question:
When is watermelon in season?

Answer: Domestic watermelon is in peak season in May, June, July, and August. Think watermelon and summer.


Question:
How to pick the best watermelon?

Answer: It is important to pick out a sweet and juicy watermelon for optimal taste! The first three things I look for are:

  1. Dull and dark green skin: Look for a dull, non-shiny skin and dark green color.
  2. Yellow spot: Look for a yellow creamy spot, aka the “field spot.” This shows that it has been sitting on the ground for a long time and getting ripe.
  3. Heavy for its size: Pick it up and check how heavy it is. The heavier the better for water-weight goodness. I sometimes compare between similar size watermelons.

After the above, I do the thud/knocking test, but sometimes I don’t have the distinguishing ear on the hollow sound (good) versus the thick sound (bad). The visual and weight are more dependable indicators for me.

Here are some great online resources on picking the right watermelon.

FoodMeOmaha Tip: Leave the watermelon out in room temperature for a few days to get a bit more ripe. I commonly do this when I am not ready to cut the watermelon.


Question:
How to cut a watermelon?

Answer: Fruit ninja style! Just kidding. Of course, there are several ways to cut a watermelon. My current favorite cutting method is watermelon sticks.

After eating a few watermelon sticks, I then cut the sticks into cubes. The bite-sized pieces are stored in containers and refrigerated for later snacking.

FoodMeOmaha Tips:

  • Prior to cutting, I wipe the watermelon with a damp paper towel or wash it under running water if it is extra dirty.
  • Set a towel under the cutting board to catch the watermelon juice for easy clean up. Otherwise, I have experienced sticky watermelon juice leaking on to the counter and floor.

Next time, I plan to try the following efficient methods to cut watermelon into cubes:

How do you cut your watermelon?

Stay tuned for the next FoodMeOmaha post on the unusual “biohazard” watermelon I had!