The summer of 2015 will go down in my book as a lousy year for watermelons. I've noticed a gradual decline in the quality of the watermelons these past few years, but this year the watermelon quality graph dropped off the edge of the ol' picnic table.
The best melon this year was the first one we tried from Costco in early May. At that point I was thinking, "This is going to be a banner year for the melon," but I was sorely mistaken. Emma picked out that initiatory orb, and perhaps, in retrospect, I should have stuck with that strategy throughout. But alas, I have been consumed with sampling new strategies in the months that have followed with dismal results: Thumping them for a "solid" feel, thumping them for a "hollow" feel, looking for multiple bee stings, looking for a large yellow spot on the bottom, and the ever popular - looking for a large stem footprint with sugar oozing out of the end.
Maybe I was employing the wrong strategy at the wrong time of the year (as my failures at fishing would suggest). My theory is this: the seedless watermelon has been cross-breeded to the point of worthlessness. They can breed for texture, but it louses up the color most of the time, and with the sweetness all of the time. Many a time my initial cut has revealed a pale pink center that makes it difficult to distinguish the meat from the rind.
Seeded melons are sweeter as a whole, but the selection is smaller, and the prices are always higher, sometimes double the price of the seedless. I refuse to pay $11.50 for a 24 lb. hernia buster whose only useful purpose would be for hollow-point target practice (Day of the Jackal reference- original).
I am also of the opinion that if we lived closer to Texas, my days of melon envy would be minimized. We got great Texas melons in Tennessee years back - unless the watermelon gene-pool hooligans have invaded the great state of Texas as well. Lets hope not.
Anyway, that's my take on the situation, and I'm sticking to it. The melon in the picture above was from my last melon of the year, and it was O.K. I need to come up with something different to eat while sitting on my front porch next summer....maybe yucca.