Summer in Texas can be a scorcher but many Texans cool off by either drinking cold drinks, cranking the air conditioning, or even by biting into a slice of cold watermelon. You may have seen the occasional salesman at the Flea Market selling watermelons that they've grown or gone into a store where they sell the red delicious treats but not all watermelons are created equal, maybe.
You can find watermelons in almost any store but many people don't seem to know that watermelon comes in a yellow form, shiny version for the Pokémon fans. What's the big deal about yellow watermelon? Well, it's yellow and some people (myself included) claim that it tastes better but that's actually not true. In an interview Matthew Gaston, the Director of Education at the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy in Austin, did inform us that yellow watermelon and red watermelon taste the same.
The difference between the two is more complex and has to due with carotenoids (a class of pigment) that gives the different watermelons their color. Gaston does state the the pigments, lycopene, β-carotene, lutein, and prolycopene, are what actually lead to the difference in color. The molecular pathway that produces the pigment of red in watermelon stops at yellow which does explain why there is no taste difference, unless you pick an unripen watermelon.
There are many tips and old timey tricks when it comes to picking the right watermelon, some of which are not true. Gaston does state that there are two things to look for and that includes the classic brownish spot which does indicate that the watermelon was sitting in the field until it reached full maturity. The second tip is to thump your watermelon to listen for a nice hollow sound which means its juicy and watery. More information about plants and the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy can be found on their website and social media pages, Facebook and Twitter, along with Matthew Gaston's TikTok about plants.