Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon???

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joerogo
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2008/07/03 21:25:35 (permalink)

Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon???

What happened to the 20-40 pound watermelons we used to get. The ones with the big black seeds and the center that was like filet mignon with crisp texture and wonderful flavor.

I personally do not want seedless if it means giving up taste and texture. The seedless melons that are being shoved down our throats can't hold a candle to the melons I grew up with.

As a teen I worked for Acme Markets and right around this time of year the trailers loaded with melons would start arriving from Florida. I dreaded having to unload the melons one by one. No nice palletized bins like they have today. Now in my old fart mode, I would gladly unload a whole trailer just for one succulent melon of old.
#1

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    MellowRoast
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/03 21:33:22 (permalink)
    I'm having the same problem with both melons and tomatoes.
    #2
    kathy_in_wlsv
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/03 21:36:54 (permalink)
    I HATE HATE HATE seedless water melons..

    I have found that Aldi's tends to sell the seeded melons more often than not.. in fact just finished a nice big slice 10 minutes ago.

    I will go without rather than eat a seedless. some of the smaller fruit stands get them, and so do guys in trucks along side the roads.

    Aldis and Sav a lot sell them because they are cheaper than the seedless ones.
    #3
    bwave
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/03 21:45:29 (permalink)
    Well even back when i packed watermelons, most supermarkets wanted 12lb-18lb melons. These were all cartoned (5 to a box) or palletized (40-50 per bin). Mainly because they wanted to sell for $2.29-2.99 and make a healthy profit, plus easier for people to carry and put in fridge. (melon was going for about 10 to 12 cents a lb farmer direct back then)

    All your 20-28lb common varieties and 30-60lb melons went to produce stands or directly to new york city produce market. I was 12-16 years old when worked with these and handled the 30lb melons fine, the 50lb ones killed me (like the charleston grays, and jubilees) The white school boys handled the Acme/Supermarket orders, the black crews the medium orders, and the mexican crews the 40+ lbs orders. I unfortunately was volunteered to be a field head/packer, so I had to work with all the crews, so while everyone else was rested, I touched every single melon that went on a trailer. The mexican crews were killers they worked so fast and threw the melons high above my head, I just barely had time to knock the melon down before the next one was right at my head. Ah, those were fun times though, 7am-midnight for $3.35 an hour in 90 degree heat at 14 years old, lol. I met crackheads, italian mobsters, you name it. I delivered to all the Acme markets on the Delmarva peninsula Maryland and Delaware, including places like Elkton and Rising Sun, MD - Dover, DE, etc. I'm not even sure I had a driver's license yet, maybe a learners permit?

    oh, to answer your question, if you want large you need to move to NYC or go to a farm stand.
    #4
    rmcielwain
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/03 21:52:54 (permalink)

    We had our watermelon festival here in Chipley last weekend.
    Biggest melon at the auction was a 78-pounder that went for $1,100.
    #5
    MikeS.
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/04 11:46:49 (permalink)
    Same reasons I can't get good cantaloupes here in the mid-Atlantic. They just don't grow them like they do in Calif and the SW. You just can't beat heading out to the West side of Fresno county and getting fresh picked vine ripe melons from the roadside stands. Was paying about 25 cents apiece.

    Here they are 2.50 apiece and have no flavor.
    #6
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/04 12:00:19 (permalink)
    I have to say Joe, I grew up with Charleston Grays--that's what I thought watermelon was, not these stripey things--and I do miss them. I don't know why anybody ever decided that these little tubercular things are the way they're supposed to be. Now I like watermelon so much that I'll still eat the seedless and the sad little things--they do fit in your fridge better and you don't need at least four people to polish them off--maybe that's your reason right there. Can you get to a farmer's market or a produce stand, maybe slightly out of town, and get more variety? Also, this is prime SC watermelon season--the four to six weeks starting around June 15 are when they're the best--so I can't imagine what prime watermelon season further north would be.
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/04 12:56:17 (permalink)

    We used to chuckle at the beat-up old farm trucks way overloaded with watermelons coming up I-65 from Alabama heading for Chicago each summer. The bottom layers of melons must have been crushed from the weight of the ones on top, as there was a stream of red juice dripping from the trucks as they headed north!!

    Somehow the 'pallet-bin' takes away some of the memories of those days (1980's)!!

    I haven't seen the cube-shaped ones that have been featured in many media reports..grown in what look like milk boxes and designed to be easier to transport and store. Another memory gone when they take over the market.

    BTW we have tried to do melons here in So Indiana and so far have had little success.
    #8
    CajunKing
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/04 19:01:46 (permalink)
    Al you still see the loaded melon trucks running I-65

    I can't wait until next week, I will be digging into some VERY juicy peaches and melons at Durbin Farms. I CANT'T WAIT, this time next week I will have had durbin farms and BBG BBQ
    #9
    bdtn
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/04 19:35:48 (permalink)
    they pick every thing green so it has a 1-2 month shelf life in stores.
    when i was a kid in ca they would drop the tomatoes with any red on the ground and only keep the green ones.if you put a melon in in the cooler now it would probly still be good at christmas.i have had tomatoes in the walk in cooler that got lost and still where good after 2 months
    no sweet but looking good and servable
    #10
    joerogo
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/05 17:13:55 (permalink)
    Nancypalooza, No chance on the local farmers market for what I'm looking for. Later in the season I will be able to get the small golden melons which have a great flavor.

    It just irks me that all the growers are growing what is convenient not whats good. I am sure the large supermarkets are driving the demand for seedless also.

    Al-The Mayor-Bowen, All the broken and crushed melons were consumed by us. After we were done working of course.

    Joe
    #11
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2008/07/05 17:41:04 (permalink)
    We are very fortunate here in Dallas to have a seemingly endless supply of locally grown watermelon. The seeded ones are the very best! Btw, most of the watermelon's heavy nutrient laden value is in the rind. So, if you like (sweet) pickled watermelon rind as I do.......
    #12
    tmiles
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/07/31 09:05:05 (permalink)
    I've had a few good ones this summer, so I know it can be done, even with seedless.  Most, however,,,,, have not been that good. A lot have been unripe, and others have the texture of a muskmelon rather than the crispness that we expect from a good watermelon.
     
    You can't get them up here in New England, but "Bouge Sound Melons" from coastal North Carolina, are excellent, even as seedless. I used to get them when we went there for reserve summer camp.................they had great local popcorn shrimp too.
    #13
    chewingthefat
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/07/31 11:26:56 (permalink)
    All Watermelons sold in the US today are made in Shoe factories in China, they are Paper Mache and the inside is glue and sawdust...what's not to like?
    #14
    seafarer john
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/07/31 12:11:44 (permalink)
    Great cantaloupes are still available here in New York State.
    Farm stands in the Albany area will have "Hand" melons - melons (supposedly) grown on the Hand family farm  near Saratoga that are as good as melons get and certainly better than most.If you are traveling the NYSThruway, get off at the 
    Castleton exit (#22?) and you usually, in season, will find Hand melons at the farm stand there in the rest stop.
     
    Cheers, John  
    #15
    Foodbme
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/01 01:59:10 (permalink)
    Out here we can get what I call "Softball' Watermelons. Slightly bigger than a softball but just the right size for me since I'm the only one who eats melons in the house. Not the greatest but the most convenient.
    #16
    ScreamingChicken
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/01 09:43:34 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    All Watermelons sold in the US today are made in Shoe factories in China, they are Paper Mache and the inside is glue and sawdust...what's not to like?


    Try buying your watermelons somewhere other than Wal-Mart.
     
    Brad
    #17
    mbrookes
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/01 13:37:04 (permalink)
    The watermelons from Smith County, MS, are absolutely the best. My very favorites are the Black Diamonds, round and dark green. The inside is sweet and crisp.
     
    Farmers Markets and trucks by the road are the best sources. 
    #18
    HollyDolly
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/02 16:12:56 (permalink)
    At H.E.B. you can get the small round personal melons, plus the large stripped ones with or without seeds. Don't know where they are from, would have to look at the label.The funny thing is, they grow watermelons in Luling up on US90 East, east of San Antonio, and also in Stockdale ,on US Hwy 87,southeast of San Antonio, and both towns have festivals. Pecos, out west of me grows melons like cantaloupes,and such, but it doesn't seem like any grocery store carries them,.I see stuffed marked Mexico, etc.
     
    #19
    joerogo
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/02 20:58:26 (permalink)
    On a trip back from Long Island, The Cross Bronx was Jammed, so I took The Bruckner through the Bronx.  I look down at one of the side streets, and there is a truck parked along the road selling watermelons.  The line had to be about 20 people long.  
     
    They had some melons on display, cut lengthwise.  Even at 60 MPH, looking down from about 500 feet, I could see these were the real deal.  25-30 pounders with seeds that could put an eye out.  You can only get mature melons like this from The South.
    #20
    ken8038
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/02 23:01:56 (permalink)
    (I look down at one of the side streets, and there is a truck parked along the road selling watermelons.)
     
    I read an article a couple of years ago about how much those guys can make by picking up a truckful of watermelons in North Carolina and selling them for 5 or 6 dollars each on the streets of the Bronx. For people who are generally otherwise unemployed, two guys can make a thousand dollars each for a couple days work. And everybody goes home happy.
    #21
    tmiles
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/07 07:33:05 (permalink)
    I waited about 10 days for the supply chain to use up the crappy watermelons. Last night I bought a good sized, "Coastal" melon, "From Maryland and Delaware" for $5.99 at Price Chopper, a northeast chain with good produce. It was longer rather than rounder, and I've had better, but it was way above average and a huge improvement over the crap of a few weeks ago. It was well worth what I paid.
    #22
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/10 15:52:56 (permalink)
    Went to Publix's the other day to get a whole watermelon and they were $9.00! The produce clerk was just as surprised as I was! She said they weren't selling at all (go figure!). I bought a 1/4 of one sliced and it was very good; but I wanted a whole one.
    #23
    ken8038
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/08/10 23:43:30 (permalink)
    <<so I took The Bruckner through the Bronx>>
     
    Hey Joe, next time you're stuck in traffic and wind up on the Bruckner, stop here:
     
    http://www.brucknerbar.com/
     
    It's the best thing that's happened in the South Bronx in years!
    #24
    tmiles
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/10/19 10:47:14 (permalink)
    At the end of the season I got a very good one that came from Ontario, Canada. So much for my theory that the best ones come from down south..........
    #25
    HollyDolly
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/10/19 14:37:16 (permalink)
    I buy the smal individual ones that fit in the fridge,a big one would be too much for me. Hope Arkansas was known for its watermelons.Even here in Texas melons aren't cheap.Which is kind of funny,since Stockdale and Luling both grow
    watermelons and have festivals,and both towns are east of here. That's like cantaloupes.Pecos,Tx is well known for them.Also, a lot of your fruit is coming from Mexico and Chile as well,which may explain the flavour issue in regards to variteys, and soli conditions,etc.
    #26
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Why Can't I get a Good Watermelon??? 2011/10/23 18:00:08 (permalink)
    plus easier for people to carry and put in fridge.

     
    Is this really an issue? We always cut ours up before we put it in the fridge.
     
    You take the bread knife, and cut the ends off about 4 inches from the actual end--now you have 2 bowls of watermelon. Cut the rest in 2 inch slices. Cut each slice in quarters.
     
    Then take half the quarters, cut the rinds off, and cut into smaller cubes. (you want the seeds out, the smaller the better) Freeze the smaller cubes, because you're going to use them throughout the summer to make smoothies.
     
    Put the remaining quarters into the fridge. Done.
     
    I do agree that it's been very hard to find an actual tasty watermelon.
    #27
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