Apr 30, 2010

Square watermelons! You must be crazy!!

Square watermelons! Don't be surprised to find them soon in the store near you.

Next summer, or may be even at the fag end of this summer, you might find square watermelons in the supermarket stores. Well, don't be surprised. A Panama-based company has already started producing and marketing the square watermelons. The first shipment is off to New York, the Big Apple.

It is not genetically-modified. As the news report below clarifies, these water melons have been literally 'molded' to make it convenient for shipping. I don't know why, but the world seems to be un-necessarily experimenting with food, trying to carve out an exclusive space in the market. I am completely at easy with the rounded variety that I find with my neighbourhood vendor. It is cheap, sweet, and juicy. I love it.

I hope many of you have the sanity to avoid the tyranny of the markets. These food companies only want you to shell out more in the name of novelty.

Here is the AP news report.

ANTON, Panama (AP) -- A company in Panama is hoping to join in a small niche market of the fruit export business: square watermelons.

The Panama Fruit Producer company has started "rounding up" the square fruit, sending its first shipment of 120 boxy melons to New York.

The company expects to produce about 3,000 of the molded melons this year, and will send them to the Netherlands and Germany as well.

Operations manager Gerardo Diaz said Wednesday that people are surprised at first because "it is not what they were expecting."

"Later they ask if it is a genetic experiment," he said.

Diaz said the watermelons are natural. They are made to grow inside cube-shaped glass boxes and conform to the mold as they get bigger.

The first melons cost about $75 apiece, but producers hope to bring the price down.

The first square watermelons are thought to have been produced by a Japanese farmer and have been sold in some markets in Japan for years. Diaz said the only square watermelon production in the Americas he knows about is in Brazil and California in the US.

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