Watermelon (karpouzi) is a staple Greek summer food, impossible not to find on a fruit platter. Every father and papou will tell you that the one they bring home was “the best from the lot.” However, how can you tell for yourself?
Here are some tips on how to choose the best karpouzi, as well as a few interesting facts on the refreshing fruit.
Which karpouzi beats the rest?
The Green Stem
Assuming the stem isn’t yet cut off, the freshest watermelon will most often have a nice dark green stem. A stem that is brown and shrivelled has most likely been sitting there for a long time.
Heavier They Are, The Better They Taste
The weight of a watermelon is most drastically influenced by it’s size, but also it’s water content. The more water-content in a watermelon, the fresher the juices are inside, making it more tasty and refreshing when sharing it among friends and family.
The Hollow Sound
You may see people put a watermelon next to their ear and hit it with the palm of their hand once or twice. No, they’re not testing how tough it is, they’re testing to see how loud the thump is. When hitting the watermelon, the ideal sound to look for is a high pitched sound and less of a low, deep and gradual sound. You can try testing it at a watermelon farm or at home!
1. Edible Skin – While most people avoid the green crunchy rind and primarily eat the watermelon’s juicy flesh, watermelon rinds are also edible and provide multiple health benefits.
2. Lycopene Source – Watermelons are found to contain lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancers, including prostate, lung, and stomach.
3. Water-melon name holds true – Watermelons hold up to 92 percent of water content, making them valuable sources of hydration at the beach or on a hot day. Many early explorers even used watermelons as canteens!
4. As old as Greece itself – The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.