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Old School Watermelon

Does anyone know where I can find old school style watermelon? You know........oval shaped with big black seeds and sweet as sugar. I have no use for the round, seedless watermelons that are sold today. I have yet to have one that had any real flavor. Have we become that lazy as a society that we can't spit out watermelon seeds anymore?

I'm in Plymouth, but I've been know to travel great distances for food that I love.

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  1. Amen. I'm with you! Bring back the old seeded watermelons!

    1. You may have luck at local farmer's markets. Regardless of seeds, make sure you pick the one with the biggest "bald" spot, which indicates more time spent in the field before picking, and so tend to be sweeter.

      1. I love the new school seedless. The texture is much better - the oval, seed-filled ones are often horribly mealy. I also think the flavor is better, and science backs that up.


        "The official word: If you think seedless watermelons taste bland compared to the seeded ones, it's all in your head. It's nostalgia, pure and simple, says Todd Wehner of N.C. State's horticultural science department.

        In a fair taste test between seeded and seedless watermelons picked fresh from a field, "the triploids always win," he says. The triploids — the seedless ones — have three sets of genes instead of two, so any genes that affect sweetness, flavor, and texture are more likely to be expressed."

        2 Replies
        1. re: DoubleMan

          I appreciate their taste analysis... but as far as the last paragraph goes, that's nonsense- you could just as easily have a gene that negatively impacts flavor when overexpressed.

          1. re: DoubleMan

            I need to chime in here. To make a blanket statement about taste is ridiculous - and I love NPR, the messenger here.

            Taste is subjective to each of us - that's why we have so many differing opinions right here on Chowhound. I agree that posting something in a university blog is very impressive, even beyond criticism (sarcasm here), but I refuse to believe that someone (yes, I reserve the right to disagree a professor) can tell me whether something I eat really has flavor or not.

            Believe it or not, some people actually hold on to the idea that the older, heirloom varieties of all sorts of stuff, grown in nutrient rich soil, actually tasted better than the mass produced hybrids of today.

            Amazing - but I will prefer to go along with what's "all in my head."

          2. I saw some at Wegmans 2 weeks ago

            1 Reply
            1. re: trufflehound

              Wegmans in Northborough had whole seeded (as well as seedless) watermelons when I was there yesterday.

            2. Farmers markets will have what you're looking for, in either shape or size.

              Supermarket melons in general are flavorless, just like supermarket tomatoes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                I grew up eating lots of watermelon, and before this yr., my experience w/ seedless hasn't been very positive. But my experiences this summer have been with large individually wrapped wedges of seedless watermelon from Woburn MB(mostly) and WF. I have been in seventh heaven, sweet and luscious as can be. Eat one 2-3x a week for bkfst. Maybe one blah wedge out of many many many. Couldn't be happier.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  I have to agree with you that this years seedless watermelon from MB have been consistently sweet and juicy.

                  For seeded watermelon, I think I noticed that Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury watermelon will be ready this week or next.

              2. I agree that the seeded taste better but have to go with the newer smaller ones. A big one goes bad before I can finish it the small one no waste.

                1. Just returned from Barbados.Sweetest watermelon with huge black seeds. My 27 year old daughter asked: Why are there seeds? So bring back the sweet seeded watermelon!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ParisLady

                    Problem is, the factory farms that mass produced ones we find in grocery stores won't go to the trouble of growing something like that. - hybrids travel easier, for one thing, (then we have some professors who tell us we're mistaken about what we *think* tastes good). Our own local farmer's markets can't produce the same quality you had in Barbados because we simply don't have the same, long, hot growing season here that melons need. I wish! (I also wish we could do away with the factory-farms)

                  2. Sienna Farms (at Copley farmers market on Tuesday and Friday). They are small- size of a cantalope, but they are the BEST watermelons I've had since childhood. Seeds - yes, Sweet- very, Red goes almost all the way to the green. Amazing. I've bought at least a dozen melons and each and everyone was terrific.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lulu belle

                      Going to get to that Farmer's Market so I can try them!! Thanks, lulu belle - it's been a long time since I've had a sweet AND flavorful watermelon.

                      1. re: threedogs

                        I was told on Tuesday that the crop is nearing its end - so hurry! Sienna also has a small shop off of Tremont St. next to The Butcher Shop that is open everyday.

                        1. re: lulu belle

                          Thanks so much, lulu belle. Was going to go today, but it's a bit of a ride on the T from where I am & I just couldn't face that heat today, so their supply might be gone if I ever am able to get there. Their South End location is even more out of the way for me. But I checked out their blog, and there is an interesting farming article about using a mustard crop as a natural way to ward off fungal disease in the soil (after it is grown, it is chopped & mixed - quickly - into the soil, making a natural bio-fumigant). I hope to do some gardening in the future, so I'm saving this info.

                          This is just what I was talking about - this type of farming (or gardening, on a smaller scale) produces delicious fruits and vegetables.

                    2. You can buy this type by the wedge at:

                      Market Basket
                      Farmland in Wakefield

                      1. Red Fire Farm has had some awesome seeded watermelon lately. Both red and yellow varieties.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: gini

                          Looks like they sell at the Boston Farmer's Market at South Station - that I would have a better chance of getting to. Thanks, gini!

                          1. re: threedogs

                            Update on the watermelon at The Farmland: I was there the other day, and the watermelon wedges are not only of the oval variety, but they remove the seeds before wrapping them up. All of their produce is pristine: http://www.thefarmland.com/produce.php