The art of picking the perfect watermelon

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Nothing disappoints more than cracking open a carefully selected watermelon only to find mealy, bland flesh inside. (Unless you’re the comedian Gallagher, of course.) So how do you know which gloriously green striated melons will bear dead-ripe red fruit? Tap the watermelon and listen for deep hollow tones, recommends farmer Victor Gomez. Gomez should know: he’s worked on Munak Ranch in Paso Robles for more than a decade. Also, look for watermelons that are especially heavy for their size. No more mediocre melons.

Walter Greenwood is chef at the newly opened 1212 restaurant in Santa Monica.  It’s no wonder the young chef calls watermelon gazpacho “a perfect dish for the beach,” just the thing to cool down on a hot summer day. He first ate the chilled soup when his mother made it with melons his father grew on a sandy beach in Texas. 

Summer Watermelon Gazpacho
Watermelon Gazpacho (Photo courtesy of 1212) (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)