What Is Yellow Watermelon? Learn All About the Sweet Summer Fruit

Meet red watermelon's sweeter, honey-flavored cousin.

There’s nothing quite like the first bite of crisp watermelon, especially when temperatures are soaring. Alongside the slices of red watermelon at the store or farmers market, you may have seen yellow watermelon. Just like red watermelon, the yellow variety is juicy and refreshing. But yellow watermelon is often sweeter, with a hint of honey flavor. Whether you're looking to try new foods or just mix up the color palette of your next salad, summer is the perfect time to give the fruit a try. Here's everything you need to know about yellow watermelon including what is yellow watermelon, how to choose a ripe melon, and our favorite watermelon recipes.

What is Yellow Watermelon?

What Is Yellow Watermelon?

Yellow watermelon originated in Africa more than 5,000 years ago. Some sources suggest it was cultivated before other varieties of watermelon. Today, you can find both seeded and seedless varieties. Many varieties of yellow watermelon are smaller and rounder than red watermelons though some produce the classic large, oblong fruit. The fruit gets its beautiful, bright yellow color from a lack of lycopene, a natural pigment in plants that gives produce like red watermelon and tomatoes their bright color. However, yellow watermelon makes up for a shortage in lycopene with a slew of health and nutritional benefits.

Is Yellow Watermelon Good for You?

These honey-colored fruits are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. The fruit is also a source of potassium (a cup contains about 5% of your daily value). Yellow watermelon has a high water content and contains beta-carotene (the same antioxidant that gives carrots their orange hue). A slice of yellow watermelon is a refreshing way to get some hydration and vitamins!

What Does Yellow Watermelon Taste Like?

Most yellow watermelon tastes very similar to the common red varieties. It has the same juicy flesh and flavor. However, many types of yellow watermelon are extremely sweet with a honey-like flavor. Some have even compared the sweetness of yellow watermelon to a ripe apricot.

What Are the Common Varieties of Yellow Watermelon?

There are several varieties of yellow watermelon you can grow and or find in your local famers market. Here are six common types of yellow watermelon and how they differ from each other.

  • ‘Yellow Doll’ is a small hybrid variety that produces 3- to 6-pound fruits. The seeds are small and the flavor is similar to a red watermelon.
  • 'Yellow Crimson' is very similar to the popular red 'Crimson Sweet', but is much sweeter with a more pronounced honey flavor.
  • 'Buttercup Yellow Melon' is a hybrid yellow watermelon and is one of the sweetest seedless varieties.
  • 'Yellow Flesh Black Diamond' has a thick dark green, almost black rind. The flavor is less sweet than other yellow watermelon varieties and is closer to that of a red watermelon.
  • ‘Lemon Krush’ is a hybrid yellow watermelon with crisp flesh.
  • ‘Mountain Sweet Yellow’ produces the classic oblong-shaped watermelon. The fruit is large, often weighing more than 25 pounds.

Where to Buy Yellow Watermelon

Fortunately for watermelon lovers, the yellow varieties may be available year-round, if you can find them. It can be hard to find at your local grocery store, but odds are good you can find them at the farmers market or a specialty food market. You'll have more luck finding it during peak season, which generally runs from May through September, depending on where you live.

How to Pick a Yellow Watermelon

There’s an art to selecting the perfect watermelon. To determine the ripeness of a yellow watermelon, look for a yellow spot on the rind. This is where the watermelon sat on the ground and it turns yellow as the fruit ripens. It's worth picking the melon up, too. If ripe, it will be heavy. Watermelon is mostly water, so the heavier it feels, the juicer it may be. As a last check, give it a few taps and listen for a hollow sound.

If the watermelon is still unripe, the spot on the rind will be white. When tapping an unripe watermelon, the fruit will make a full, flat sound. If the fruit feels lightweight or there are signs of bruising or blemishes, choose a different watermelon.

Yellow Watermelon Recipes

If you're excited about trying yellow watermelon, here are some recipe ideas to incorporate the fruit in fun and creative ways. If the recipe calls for red watermelon, you can easily substitute yellow. Just use the same amount. These yellow watermelon recipes showcase the melon's sweetness in both sweet and savory dishes. For dinner, try making Fish Tacos with Melon Salsa or Mini Gyro Burgers with Watermelon-Feta Salad. For a fresh side dish, try Grilled Watermelon Salad or zesty Watermelon Pickles. We love to make a batch of this Watermelon Sherbet for dessert.

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