Fresh watermelon is one of the great summer privileges. The juiciness of the melon, the sweet flavor, and the fun of spitting seeds cannot be beaten. Watermelon is a pastime. Most adults have fond memories of enjoying a large melon slice on a hot summer day while playing with friends and family.
Despite the nostalgia of watermelon, have you ever really thought about how you stored it? Most people bring a melon home from the market and set it on their counter or place it in the refrigerator; one of these actions is better than the other.
According to some experts, putting a watermelon in the refrigerator is a mistake. The cold can diminish the flavor and strip some of the nutrients. Who knew?
How Should You Store Watermelon?
According to experts, the ideal temperature for storing watermelon is between 50° and 59° Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature is colder than room temperature but warmer than the fridge for most people. Experts recommend room temperature because a temperature of 32° Fahrenheit leads to an off-flavor in watermelon. A watermelon can last seven to 10 days at room temperature.
Beyond taste, refrigeration can affect the nutrition levels of watermelon. The USDA found that refrigerated melons contain lower antioxidant levels than room temperature ones. Additionally, lycopene and beta-carotene dissipate when refrigerated. However, refrigeration may also be necessary for certain situations.
When Should You Refrigerate Watermelon?
You should always wrap and store cut watermelon in the refrigerator. The fridge should be set between 9° and 39° Fahrenheit. If possible, store watermelon in an airtight container. The melon will last longer in the refrigerator if you can remove the air.
Additionally, you should store a watermelon in the refrigerator if it comes from refrigeration. You do not want to break the cold chain. Breaking the chain can cause the fruit to spoil faster and lead to other issues.
Why Room Temperature Is Better Than Cold Storage
The flavor of watermelon is more intense when it is first cut, especially when stored at room temperature or just removed from the vine. Additionally, room temperature fruit is more fragrant, juicier, and sweeter. While there is no adequate explanation for the differences, it does not make the arguments any less true.
Refrigerating watermelon does the melon a disservice. Refrigeration weakens the nutrient punch and deprives one of the sweetest fruits of its flavor. Cold storage can also eliminate the texture of the fruit.
Watermelon is fruit royalty; It deserves better than cold storage depreciation. The fruit is a staple in many people's childhoods and throughout their lives. Who can't look back at summers past and find fond memories of eating the beloved, juicy triangle?
All the things you love about watermelon, its juiciness, flavor, and texture, are stripped away when it is stored in the fridge. Do not do your childhood a disservice by keeping watermelon in the cold. Take pride in displaying the marbled green, oblong fruit on your kitchen counter. Your taste buds will salivate as you cut into the juicy football-shaped fruit and sink your teeth into its soft, delicate flesh.