What Is Yellow Watermelon and Where Can You Buy It This Summer?

·3 min read


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It's the start of summer—more unofficially known as watermelon season! We welcome it with open arms (and open mouths). This juicy, ripe fruit is a staple at any proper summer cookout whether its sliced and chilled for watermelon sangria, savored as grilled watermelon, or thrown into a colorful summer salad recipe.

While many of us know the three common types of watermelon—seedless, icebox, and picnic—which you'll find at the grocery store all summer long, did you know that there's a fourth variety?

It's called yellow watermelon—yes, you read that right! When you crack open the green rind, you won't find juicy red fruit. Instead, you will see gold fruit and white seeds! It adds a bit of color variation to a bowl of watermelon salad or a watermelon margarita (both of which also happen to make for a pretty summer Instagram post, we might add). So if you're wondering about yellow watermelon—what is it, where to find it, what it tastes like, and what makes it special—read on for everything you need to know about it!

Photo credit: tsarenko - Getty Images
Photo credit: tsarenko - Getty Images

What is yellow watermelon?

As you might guess, yellow watermelon is a variety that gets its name from its bright golden flesh. On the outside, the striped green rind of both the red and yellow varieties look exactly alike. However, your traditional variety gets its red color from lycopene, an organic pigment and powerful antioxidant also found in tomatoes and grapefruits. Since the yellow variety does not contain lycopene, it doesn't turn red.

Is yellow watermelon natural?

It's as natural as a red watermelon! While you may be more familiar with the latter, yellow watermelon were actually cultivated first and have grown in Africa for almost 5,000 years. As with much of our fruit today, farmers selectively bred the melon to develop its color, texture, and flavor.

Is yellow watermelon better than red watermelon?

From a health standpoint, both varieties contain a substantial amount of vitamins A and C, which work to support your immune system. While the yellow variety doesn't contain lycopene, it has its own strong antioxidant called beta-carotene. This is the same organic pigment that gives cantaloupes and sweet potatoes a similar yellow or orange color.

Yellow watermelon tastes remarkably similar to red watermelon. When you bite into the crisp meat, you'll find it essentially equal in texture and juiciness. The one notable difference besides their color is that yellow can taste a bit sweeter, with a honey-like flavor.

Where can I get yellow watermelon?

Getting your hands on a yellow watermelon was once difficult, but it's become a bit easier in recent years. If you can't find it at your local grocery store or farmers market, you can order yellow watermelon from Instacart. If in the fervor of summer you wish to try your hand at growing the pretty variation, you can find seeds at Walmart or Amazon.

As you make your selection, know that there are five different varieties of yellow watermelon to pick out: Yellow Crimson (much like the red "Crimson Sweet" variety, but sweeter), Buttercup Yellow Melon (a hybrid that is one of the sweetest of all seedless watermelons), Yellow Flesh Black Diamond (which has a dark green rind and is closer to a pink watermelon in terms of sweetness), Desert King (which is extremely high in beta-carotene which also makes it orange like a cantaloupe); and Yellow Doll (which is smaller and quicker to mature).

Of course, before you take the plunge at the grocery store, be sure you know how to pick watermelon for the best of the lot!