GermanShepherdPuppy thinks that watermelons are going the way of tomatoes and apricots: Shelf life is becoming more important than quality, and it’s becoming impossible to find luscious, sweet, juicy watermelons. Is there any hope?

The solution, says amyzan, is the same as the solution to the bad tomato problem: Get out of the grocery store and go to the farmers’ market. Choose heirloom-variety melons, as these are much less likely to be bred for transport and shelf life than supermarket varieties. Look for a yellowish-white spot if you want to be sure that the melon ripened on the vine—this is where it rested on the ground. Some people thump melons to check for ripeness, but amyzan questions the utility of this trick. Finally, don’t store the melon for a long time after you buy it, because even good watermelons turn tragically mushy in a short time.

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