I'm going on a picnic and I forgot to get a disposable cooler for my watermelon, which will be cut off the rind and cut into serving size pieces. Do I have to keep watermelon cold? I have two foil pans, 3 empty ice cream buckets and ice.
Jeanette from Detroit, MI
Unless cut, watermelon is sold from a display.
You can take your watermelon to the picnic whole and not cold.
Cut the rind off and section it at the picnic.
Once watermelon is cut it needs to be refrigerated.
Watermelon always tastes better cold, but I would think if you have it cold, cut if before you leave, it should be OK for awhile. You could always put your containers in a paper bag and put a ziplock bag full of ice on the top. That should keep them fairly cool until serving.
Back in my younger days, I use to sell water melons from my father in laws patch. Were talking patches that are 6 or more acres big. About five or six of the family members would gather melons every other day during melon season. Load on two or three pickups and trailers, stacked high. Each truck/trailer went to different citys within 100 mile radius of the farm. We had certain delivers to make, as the local cafes and the local grocery store, then we would drive up and down residential streets and sell the remainer of the melons. These melons were taken straight from the patch and taken direct to the stores. At the stores they had big bins in which they would stack the melons. Those from the patch at one price and then they would put some of the melons in cold storage for 24 to 36 hours, to get them really cold. The colder the better. Once the melon is put in cold storage it should stay there until sold or eaten to assure it does not spoil. Very few like melons that tast bad, due to being hot one minute and cold the next. They could make you sick and again they might not, but it's not good safety practice. Personal I like my melon out in the patch, a bit on the warm side. Busted open, dip in and dig out the heart of the melon. Have juice running from ear to ear, down on your chin and elbow to elbow. Doesn't get any better. However on very hot days a cold melon is hard to beat.
Do you know how to tell how to pick a melon at the store? look at it's belly and if yellow it is a good one.
Pat your stomach, then pat the melon and if they sould alike it's ripe. There's many other methods. To answer your question, must people prefer the melon cold, and yes, they should be kept cold, once they have been cold.
When I was a kid and even now that am adult, my family go on picnics and family reunions. We usually have slice or whole watermelon and its not cold. You can refrigerated the night before or not. When you buy watermelon out of the store, its not cold sometimes. So as long as you haven't cut it up and left it out you are fine.
I was always told that your watermelon will keep more of its nutrients if it's kept at room temp, but once you cut it you need to keep it in the fridge or cooler.
So I would cut it at the picnic and then with any leftovers, put them in the cooler when some space opens up.
Watermelon is often displayed in stores at room temperature. It's a matter of personal preference to eat the melon cold or room temperature. If eaten on a hot day many people find it more refreshing if chilled. Once cut it should be kept chilled or put into a bowl, tray or plastic wrap that's over a bed of ice. Another safety issue: melons of all types should be thoroughly washed on the outside before cutting to avoid possible contamination by salmonella & other similar things.
thank you all for your wonderful advice on the day of the picnic i cut the watermelon off the rind put it covered aluminun pans i got a box that had foam on the botton put ice on the bottom put one pan in put ice on top and around it put second pan in put ice on top of it and around it the picnic was wonderful a packed my box of watermelon and ice around 9:30 am and at 7:00 pm i still had ice and this was on a 85 degree weather thanks everybody