(This is a repost from my Red Room blog–enjoy!)
My favorite drink in Hong Kong was watermelon juice. It was sweet, refreshing, and pulpy. I drank it at breakfast, lunch, as an afternoon snack. I drank pitchers of it at dinner. When I returned to California, I counted down the months till watermelon season and the days when I could buy organic watermelons at the farmers market.
My first melon was striped. Not only was the rind striped light and dark green, but inside the melon pink and white colors alternated. The triangle sample at the market was sweet and delicious. When I explained my desire for watermelon juice to the farm stand assistant, the woman tapped a large melon and said it was perfect for the occasion.
I raced home and immediately sliced it, but not only was it bland, almost bitter and nothing like my sweet sample, but also I had a seedy situation on my hands, and it deterred me from my juicy plans.
A few weeks later , I went to a different farmer. The watermelons rested in yellow tubs. One tub’s sign said, “seedless.” When my knife pounced through the rind, I gaped at the number of tiny black oval seeds. Seedless meant with seeds. Who knew?
In the weeks that followed, I was feeling a bit meloncholy. I needed rest and took it in the form of charentais, an heirloom cantaloupe with French ancestry. I put some in a blender, but couldn’t detect any distinguished flavors. I pined for my beloved watermelon.
After a long hiatus, I felt safe to return to watermelon picking. I bought a ten pound baby. Baby melon, that is. I chose yellow as a change of pace. Even though it wasn’t as sweet as the red variety, it was flavorful and, I thought, perfect for juice.
“Yellow yellow yellow,” I chanted as I lugged home my precious baby. My mouth watered. I was eager to sink my teeth in with gusto.
Except it wasn’t yellow. It was red.
Perhaps it was blushing.