When the dog days of summer set in and you are facing an afternoon filled with haze, humidity, and languid breezes (if there is even a breeze at all), the one thing that will coax you out onto the back porch is the promise of a sweet, juicy, and crisp watermelon. There are few things more refreshing than biting into a watermelon wedge, letting the juice trickle down your arms, and seeing how far you can spit the seeds. While the most popular way to eat a watermelon is to just dive in, they are also delicious blended into cocktails, paired with tomatoes in salads, and even turned into a creamy, frozen pie. You may be lucky enough to grow your own watermelons in your garden or you might visit a farmers’ market for your favorite varieties, such as the Sugar Baby or Crimson Sweet. The traditional varieties all have red or pink flesh, but have you run across the yellow watermelon? With over 1,200 varieties of watermelon on the market today, from seedless to pink to melons with a black rind, you shouldn’t be surprised to find a yellow fleshed melon. Read on and see what makes it so different.
What Makes Them Yellow
Some fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, blueberries, grapes, and purple sweet potatoes, contain anthocyanins, a flavonoid which provides their rich color. Traditional watermelons get their pinkish to red hues from lycopene, the same powerful antioxidant that makes tomatoes red. Obviously, watermelon varieties that do not contain lycopene will often have a yellow flesh.
They Look the Same on the Outside
You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge a watermelon by its rind, because a yellow watermelon has a green rind, just like every other watermelon. So, unless the produce is labeled correctly at the market, you will have to cut into a melon to determine if it is yellow or red. There are as many varieties of yellow watermelons as there are red ones, both with seeds and seedless.
Use a Yellow Watermelon the Same Way
Aside from the obvious color difference, the fruit of the yellow watermelon is sweeter than its red-fleshed counterpart, described as having notes of honey and apricot. Yellow watermelon fruit is now widely available and can be used in the same recipes as you would use a red watermelon, you may want to even mix red and yellow melons in a recipe for added visual appeal.
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Interested in growing your own yellow watermelons? Check out the seed selections available online. If you are anxious to try one right now, look for these varieties at your farmers’ market: Yellow Flesh Black Diamond Watermelon, Desert King, Yellow Crimson, Yellow Doll, Buttercup and Tastigold.