Friday, August 14, 2009

Golden Garden Goodness: Yellow Watermelons!

golden yellow watermelonYou know I love to talk about things that come out of my garden, and right now we're in the peak of watermelon season, apparently. I counted yesterday. There are still about twelve or fifteen on the vine, and this beauty pictured here is the fifth we've picked. It's also the last of the golden yellow watermelons we're getting this year (I think... our baby watermelon plants got all mixed up, so there might still be some growing somewhere, but the remaining melons all seem to have a different shape. Anyway, these things are awesome and a real gift from the garden, and since I just enjoyed half of one in a single sitting (again), I thought I'd post about them.

To be technical, I don't know what varietal this watermelon is, but I expect it is a "yellow crimson." I know that I found out about yellow watermelons when I was a teenager but never saw one until a few years ago. Last year I decided that I was going to try one, by goodness, and bought one even though it failed two of my normal criteria for watermelon selection: it was already cut in half and it cost something like $8 for half a watermelon (Hhhwhat? Are you serious? I'm serious.). At least I knew it was yellow. I wasn't particularly impressed with the fruit I bought, but I liked the novelty enough to save some of the seeds to try growing them this year. It worked.

The flavor of yellow watermelons, if this varietal is any kind of representative, is similar to watermelon, though it tastes more like nectar, I think. The flavors are softer and distinct, and more honey-ish, than any red watermelon I've had, and it's all together pleasant. It also seems to be less crisp than most of the red watermelons I've had, though it's every bit as messy-juicy and probably slightly or even significantly sweeter. On a health front, I don't know what boons yellow watermelons have other than huge amounts of carotenes and being a spectacularly delicious source of fresh fruit in the diet, but I do know they lack lycopene, the quite-famous antioxidant carotenoid usually associated with tomatoes (also red, like lycopene itself).

If you've never had one of these beauties, do yourself the favor I needed a decade to convince myself of: get one and try it. Yellow watermelon is a very nice treat on a hot summer day like today!

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Gautam said...

I love watermelons and have seen quite a few different varieties but never knew that we had them in yellow too!!

Jim said...

They come in red, pink, orange, yellow, and even white, to my knowledge, though the white ones are really, really rare cultivars. We're going to try to grow some of those next year, I hope!