The sight of a big, red watermelon always fills me with optimism . I guess it’s because watermelon brings back childhood memories of hot, lazy summer days when we were all small and life was good. At the beach, our mother would lure us out of the water for a break, offering us red, juicy slices cut off a half watermelon that was cold from our insulated box . Hunkering down on the sand in our bathing suits, still dripping salt water and a bit dazed with swimming, we would bite with gusto into the “smile” of the slice, glad to hear that crisp, yielding sound as our teeth met melon. Sweet juice running down our chins and fingers, an almost salty flavor as we got closer to the rind. We’d collapse, replete, onto the sand, careless of stickiness and the heat. Mom would push us towards the sweet-water shower and then we’d rest under the beach umbrella for a while.
Or at home, late in the afternoon when lunch was hours behind us and dinner was still some time ahead. Bowls filled with those juicy red cubes would appear – Mom’s strategy to keep us happy till dinner was ready. We would feast.
So I was glad to see watermelons on display at the supermarket when I was there yesterday. I pushed the shopping cart closer, to reach for a good one. But hist – what was that?! Among the red, there were yellow watermelons. They’re a novelty in Israel. At first I thought they were a hybrid of some sort. Out of curiosity, I bought half a deep-yellow one. We all sat down to try it out. I didn’t know what to expect, but found that it had the true, sweet, watermelon flavor.
So I typed “yellow watermelons” onto a search engine and came up with this Wikepedia article. There I learned that there are 1200 varieties of this fruit, and what’s more, that it’s not a real fruit but a vegetable. (I was kind of sorry I learned that – I think I’ll forget I learned that and go back to thinking of watermelon as fruit.)
It would be neat to fill up a bowl with balls of red and yellow watermelon – maybe some cantaloupe too – when I give a little dinner party for my birthday next week.
Whee! Summer just got more fun.