Summertime Treats: Watermelon

Curio & Co. looks at watermelon as a classic summertime treat. Vintage photograph of watermelon farmers.

The refreshing fruit that takes you right back to childhood.

Summer means many things: warm days, bar-b-ques outside and watermelon! In fact, I’d argue that the refreshing fruit is practically mandatory at picnics everywhere.

As humans, we’ve certainly been enjoying watermelon as a summertime treat since way back to ancient Egypt. Watermelon seeds were even found with the goods stored with King Tut – who certainly knew what he should bring for a refreshing snack on the other side.

Today you can find watermelons in a variety of colors, from green rinds with stripes or spots to flesh ranging from dark red even yellow. China is the world’s largest producer of watermelons, but for the priciest ones, you’ll have to go to Japan.

In Japan you can find cubic watermelons which are grown in special cube-shaped forms to give the fruit square edges. The watermelon cubes allow the fruit to be stacked and shipped more easily, and make it easier to fit into a smaller refrigerator. It all makes perfect sense, but it will set you back at least 80 bucks.

That’s not the most expensive watermelon, however. The most paid for a watermelon was over six thousand dollars at an auction in Japan. Now that’s one fruit where you’re not going to spit the seeds. Instead you’ll want to carefully collect each one and save ‘em for the kids’ college fund!

Seed-spitting contests have always struck me as odd, anyway. Don’t Moms spend a lot of energy to get kids not to spit? Then the next thing you know, it’s summertime and Mom’s organizing a spitting contest for the family reunion. How were we supposed to get in fighting shape for the contest if she always tells us to knock it off the rest of the year?

Whether you spit the seeds or just go for the seedless variety, enjoy some watermelon this summer and let it take you back. You’ll be glad you did.