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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Watermelon
    Although there are dozens of varieties, some with yellow or white flesh, all watermelons have a similar flavor. An average one weighs 15 to 35 pounds, but some ripen at cantaloupe size. Seedless varieties invariably do contain seeds, but they are small, white, and edible. Look for oblong or well-rounded melons that sound hollow when slapped. The rind should be dull and just barely give to firm pressure. Avoid any with flat or soft spots or punctures in the rind.

  • How to Store Watermelon
    Keep whole melons at a cool room temperature away from sunlight for up to a week; refrigerate if possible. Once cut, wrap slices tightly or store chunks in an airtight container and refrigerate, consuming within 2 days.

  • How to Use Watermelon
    Watermelon is great alone or cubed in salads, or try sprinkling wedges with salt and lemon juice.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Watermelon Recipes:

    See all Watermelon recipes »

What's your favorite watermelon recipe?

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what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

   
  • Rutabaga
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  • Watercress
  • Sugar Snap Peas
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