Juicy and Sweet Watermelon from Shopper's Corner (Santa Cruz)
It feels like it's been YEARS since I've had a good watermelon...maybe since I lived in Missouri years ago. After returning west to CA, I bought them in LA and here in SC--usually from farmer's markets--only to be disappointed. Places like Trader Joe's never worked out either.
I was about to give up until I came across the seed-in variety sold in the big bins outside of Shopper's Corner. Something told me to go for it, and I'm sure glad that I did! I bought my first one around Independence Day, and it was heavy and fairly sweet. Flesh was firm and not at all mealy or mushy.
Having good luck w/ that first one, I bought another a few days ago to test the consistency. It tasted even BETTER. Extremely juicy and naturally sweet, it's been quenching my thirst in this heat. So refreshing just chilled from the fridge! I just slice it up and stand over the sink...
I have no idea from where Shopper's gets their watermelons, but I'm sure happy about them. Each are $5.99 for a huge oblong melon, and they have seedless too, although I can't vouch for those. I didn't even fuss over which one to get...just picked the first one that was heavy and had some blemishes or "bee stings" (a supposed indicator of sweetness).
Anyone have good luck w/ other local melons of any sort? I haven't bought any canteloupe yet, but I enjoyed some of the melons from Pinnacle last year.
Thanks for this post Carb Lover, I was very tempted to buy watermelon at FM today, simply by the fact that I hadn't tasted watermelon this summer and gosh darn it, its watermelon season. However I was disapointed by the watermelons i sampled from 3 different vendors. It was the first time i saw watermelons, (cantelope and the yellow fleshy watermelons) at this FM this summer. The texture was fine from all three vendors but the sweetness was lacking. about 3 dollars for a small and ranging up to 7+ bucks I thought id wait it out. perhaps better luck next week? or I might have to just head on over to Shoppers.
On a sidenote the stonefruit from Kashiwase farms are simply the sweetest Ive had in a very very long time. I love the white peaches they have there. but at 3.00 per pound theyre no bargain. (last week i spent over 20 dollars on just peaches and nectarines.) They sell out of them fast, and carry a greater abundance at the aptos FM. (satuday 8am - 12?? at cabrillo college)
Yes, the Cabrillo market is 8-12 on Sat. This time of year, I like to hit both the Wed. and Sat. markets if I can. In fact, I made it to the tail end of the Wed. market. I did have some melon sightings, but most samples were either gone or the bottom of the barrel. I bought watermelon twice from Happy Boy last summer and wasn't very happy. I just assumed the conditions weren't great last year. The Shopper's one was way better and cheaper too...I'll have to ask where they get them from.
To AB below, I don't have a membership at Costco and am not in the habit of going to Safeway, but my in-laws always get their melons from both stores. While some have been fairly sweet, I find their texture and juiciness to be lacking.
The Kashiwase stone fruits were very good, better than the Frog Hollow stuff that I tried. I think I bought some Santa Rosa plums from them since they still had some left. I'm too cheap to spend $3/lb. on peaches, so I always go for the $1.50 mix and match vendor (don't know the name). I like their yellow peaches right now and pluots were good last year.