Southwestern Idaho is known for exceptionally sweet and tasty melons. Varieties grown in Idaho include traditional watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. However, several melon growers are trying different and unique varieties of melons as well. For something different, look for yellow watermelons, snow leopard, Israeli and canary melons.
Buying local, Idaho-grown watermelon is the best way to ensure you are getting the freshest fruit of the season! From a local field to your table is the fastest way to enjoy the freshest, juiciest pick of the crop. Idaho watermelons are normally available from the beginning of July to early October.
What To Look For:
Find melons with a large, golden yellow field spot on the bottom. This spot means that the melon basked in the sun on the farm and was fully ripe when picked. Watermelon, unlike most other fruits and vegetables, only ripens while on the vine. Watermelons that are a dark, shiny green and do not have this creamy yellow field spot may be under ripe.
Feel the melon for freshness. Pick up the melon. A ripe watermelon will feel very heavy for its size and the rind should be firm with no soft spots.
Smell the melon. A ripe watermelon will have a faint smell, even through the rind! And as always, when in doubt, ask a professional. Talk to your local farmer or produce manager as they will be happy to help you pick a well-ripened watermelon.
The fruit of a watermelon should be bright, sweet and juicy. If your melon has a faint color and sandy texture, it means that the watermelon has been off the vine too long and is not at peak freshness.
How to store:
Store whole watermelons in a cool spot – but not for too long. Watermelons are best when consumed shortly after purchase to ensure the freshest, sweetest taste! Cover cut wedges and cubes of watermelon with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Where to Find:
- Whole Foods
- Albertsons locations
- Local farmers markets
- Farm stands
- Grasmick Produce (wholesale)