Black watermelons at Raley's $2.98 - Amazing find (I think)
Never heard of them, so I bought one, especially since the price was good.
The clerk asked if it was a black watermelon and said "I've been working here for over 20 years and they have only sold them one other time in all those years"
Here's a photo and a description
Here's a story about a black watermelon that sold for $61 at auction in Japan.
So $2.98 is a steal ... though in the US they sell usually for about $5-$7 ... still a deal.
As this story indicates it may or may not be the same as the auction melon. The writer bought the melon at Raley's as well, so it is probably the same variety as the one I bought.
"There are over 1200 varieties of watermelon. So-called black watermelons are usually very dark green and lack the typical light stripes. The variety I bought is called Imagination. A variety called moon and stars has been grown in the US since 1926. It has yellow dots and occasional larger disks, hence “moon and stars,” on dark skin. Park Seed Company sells seeds for the Watermelon Everglade Hybrid, a seedless variety they refer to as a Bowling Ball. The “Black Diamond ... is fairly common, but it’s more obviously dark green rather than black. "
The story goes on to describe the taste which was " much superior to an ordinary seedless melon."
Hope it is as good as the moon and stars which is probably my favorite watermelon.
I haven't tried it yet and won't get to it till next week as I have a lot of various types of other melons that are getting ripe. I bought this in the El Sobrante Raleys.
3360 San Pablo Dam Rd, El Sobrante, CA 94803
btw I want to thank you for this thread...thanks to all of you when a friend posted a picture of a black watermelon to a group of us and asked "My husband got this at the farmer's market. what is it?? " I was able to make the identification. They all thought I was kidding and trying to make a bad racist joke...but no...I was correct. My friend even thought maybe it was some type of weird squash! When I told them "black watermelon" they all googled it and admitted that, yes, that's exactly what it was. I got kudos for being the produce expert of the group....pretty funny when you consider I come from a place where "good produce" means that the apples are sweet:-)
I don't know how the black watermelons compare with others but I've found them sweet, dense and juicy (red flesh), and very consistent (few misses...don't think I've had a bad one). I've been getting them from Berkeley Bowl West since last year. I picked one up because they just looked like they were in better condition and not beat-up/bruised. I didn't see them last visit but that could be all the pumpkins are appearing. I think they run .69¢/lb (organic?), so that is a good price.
A bit late for Raley's or probably anywhere this year, but I only got to the watermelon yesterday.
Your description is spot on " sweet, dense and juicy". It is like eating the heart or center of most watermelons ... the super sweet part in the middle.
While it was juicy, because it was dense, cutting it didn't cause much of a mess with juice leaking everywhere.
It is probably the best seedless watermelon I've bought. I do prefer the moon and stars variety of black watermelon which has seeds. The Imagination watermelon from Raleys, like all seedless watermelons, had some soft edible white seeds here and there.
The only problem ... and this would be a plus for anyone who wanted to pickle the rind ... was that it was a thick rind that was difficult to cut. I was thinking of using a saw.
rwo, I think about you every time I see a moon and stars watermelon since I first learned of this cultivar from you. And most recently that was at Andy's Orchard last week.
If you're having trouble finding uses for your watermelon, I've been blitzing them in the blender to make aguas frescas with some lime and mint. Or another time, inspired after reading about James Ormsby's lemon verbena and watermelon granita at Bluestem Brasserie, I made a lemon verbena simple syrup and blended it with watermelon to make paletas --- very popular!
And please do let us know how you like this new one.
1615 Half Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Please do report back. They had them at my Raley's in Merced this morning. Have to admit, I was really distracted while I was shopping and just thought to myself, 'wow, I think those are the darkest watermelons I've ever seen'. Didn't occur to me that they might be a different variety (and I didn't notice the price, as I have two (!) watermelons from my CSA box at home right now. ) However, if it is a markedly different flavor, I'd be game for making that three. (hubby is not much of a watermelon lover and it is the one thing from my CSA that I have a hard time using up. I usually end up giving a few away each summer, or perhaps there is a watermelon salad in my future.....)