Watermelon Controversy! - Seeded vs. Seedless?
At our July 4th cookout were were discussing the merits of seeded vs. seedless watermelon.
My feeling is that old fashioned watermelon, with seeds, is sweeter, juicier, and has a better texture.
The new seedless varietes always seem to have a pulpy texture and are never really juicy. Also, the seedless varieties always seem to have something missing in terms of taste. They also have a paler, slightly whitish color not the deep red of the seeded varieties.
I have no great desire to spit out seeds, (thought it can be fun) but I am definitely not ready to give up on good old fashioned watermelon.
Any other Chowhounds want to weigh in on this one?
I agree. Watermelon with seeds (both seedless and seeded sound like they describe a product with no seeds) are much better, texturally and sweetness wise. I've always found that the ultimate watermelon flavor comes from the area right around the highest concentration of seeds. For some reason it is almost always the sweetest and most watermelon tasting part of the melon.
My old roommate and I would buy a whole large watermelon, eat a quarter of it, then chop up the rest into bite sized pieces, poke out all the seeds, and put it in a giant tupperware cake thingy in the fridge. In such a ready to eat form it never lasted more than two days, despite there only being two of us.
re: ben f
Yes, indeed. "To seed" is to remove seeds from something. Therefore, "seeded" has always meant, til now, that it had seeds, but they have been removed.
In other words, the term now means anything and nothing.
My answer is that you should serve dinner guests either seedless or seeded watermelon, both are tasty if you get a ripe specimen, but the ones with seeds should be reserved for feeding the kids on the lawn.
I have developed a personnal watermelon protocol:
With seeds - for eating plain
Seedless - anytime I need to chop it up for salads, sorbets, watermelon balls, i.e., if something else is going on to disguise the not-quite-perfect taste.
re: Stanley Stephan
Hello again Stanley -
My grandfather only planted yellow watermelons. He scoffed at the red ones. He saved the seed from year to year and when he died in '95 (at 96) he had some in an envelope in the frige. My grandmother didn't think about it the next summer, so it was '97 before she gave them to me. I planted, but only one little sprout came up. (I guess age was a problem) It was doing OK until I got over zealous with the garden hose and blew it right out of the ground. I'm still kind-of traumatized about it. I blew my chances of having an "heirloom" watermelon that really was an heirloom.
To be honest if you don't want to spit out the seeds is it a big deal to swallow them? I really dislike spitting seeds out and instead just eat them (and take my word for it the tales from childhood are not true).
For me the watermelon controversy would be how to pick out a good one. I have tried all of the methods (looking for "bee stings" tapping, thumping, hefting, appearance,etc.) and I have come to the conclusion that the best method is to just grab the closest one because at least that way you don't waste alot of time on it if it isn't that good.
By the way the "pulpy" texture can be in any type of watermelon. It is a symptom of poor care by the farmer. Either over/under fertilization or watering. I can't remember which.
I do know that the watermelons from when I was a wee youngen' in the '60's and '70's were much sweeter and had much more watermelon taste than most you get nowadays.
Of course the ones from farm stands that were picked that morn can be incredible. Last year out on the Island I had a variety that was low seed hybrid variety called something like sugar candy or sugar baby. It was a perfectly round melon about 20% bigger than a basketball. It was almost too sweet. Very crisp and juicy. I even froze some and served it scooped as an ice for desert. It looked and tasted like I slaved for hours making a homemade gelato. I served it splashed with a bit of tequila.