It's getting to be that time of year, but I bought a rather tasteless melon this morning at the Ferry Plaza. In years of buying, it seems nothing is as seasonal as a delicious melon. Am I just too early? What are your sources for local, organic, sustainable and truly fantastic melon?
There is a corner booth hawking watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews at the Vallco Farmers' Market on Fridays. (There was also two HUGE crates of iced corn but I haven't sampled that yet.)
Friday, while doing my weekly fruit and vegetable restocking, I made a tactical error; I invited six 'starving' pre-teen-units -- my two, two nieces, and two of their friends -- along for my constitutional through the vendors' stalls. I was coerced by this pack of human sharks into making several impulse buys of two small watermelons and two large cantaloupe. I argued in vane that we didn't need the extra weight nor were we in short supply on variety. Their concerted attack of high-pitched female-unit whining impaired my more-sound reasoning abilities and I went down in defeat bearing away twenty extra pounds of water-based melon-fruits.
We'd barely been back at Castle Ranger when the six girl-units set-to and devoured said melons in one sitting!
Back to the closing market I went to get another cantaloupe and watermelon for other members of Clan Ranger to sample.
I am always astounded at the vibrant taste and texture in these choice melons; they are consistently sweet, as sweet as a spoon dipped in honey! The cantaloupe's aroma surrounded the cabinet area in my kitchen like fresh cut flowers. Its flesh was solid, juicy and super-orange.
Van Groningen & Sons - Escalon URL: http://www.vgandson.com
I plan on making my weekly melon purchases solely from them. This vendor is also in the East Bay at the Concord Farmers Market.
Given them a visit! Excellent produce, reasonably priced, awesome taste!
Early in the season (four or five weeks ago), I bought the best canteloupe I've ever tasted.
Since then, they've gone way downhill. Maybe it's the weather?
I bought some charentais melons at the Saturday Ferry Plaza market that were great -- and better than the ones they had last year. I forget the name of this vendor, but its the folks in back who have the middle eastern-style cukes, red and yellow bell peppers, and belgian endive. They've always had the best charentais when they come in, plus several other melon varieties.
I've been buying melons from Berkeley and got excellent - sweet, juicy & flavorful - melons. I got them from the "cut melon" section, since the staffs there really know how to pick good melons to cut. The golden honeydew has been particularly good.