Welcome to watermelon season! According to the Australian Melon Association (primo experts of all kinds of melons), most watermelons are available in Australia all year round, but they will be in peak condition from December through to May.
This is why we tend to see a spike in watermelon appearances on dining tables throughout the summer months. They’re damn delicious at this time of year.
If you’re keen to dig into watermelon season but are at a loss when it comes to choosing the perfect melon to carry home à la Baby in Dirty Dancing, don’t panic. During a recent binge session of Destination Flavour: Down Under with Adam Liaw, I came across three key pieces of advice.
How to pick a perfect watermelon, every time
In episode five of the season, ‘Queensland’, Liaw met with a fourth-generation farmer in Bundaberg who chatted ginger and melon farming with the cook and TV presenter. As a part of this visit, Liaw checked out the produce growing on the farm, and explained to audiences that there are a few ways to spot a perfect watermelon.
“There are a few ways to tell a good watermelon,” Liaw explained.
“Firstly, these little curls [the plant’s tendrills] that come off here, they turn brown and get ready to drop off. Secondly, there’s this sort of sun-kissing, slight yellowing of the skin of the watermelon; it goes a bit shiny at that point as well. And then thirdly, is the sound. It should sound full, not hollow. And that’s how you know it’s ready for the table.”
Once you’ve got the perfect watermelon, the next challenge is what to do with it. Sure, you can eat it as is – which is always a tasty option – but the fruit is far more versatile than you might think. You can make jam, or granita, or you can use this recipe from Adam Liaw and whip up char-grilled watermelon with feta and mint.
Whichever way you slice it, you’re in for a delicious feed.