Three things you probably didn’t know about the fruit of summer— watermelon!
- Like all fruits, they naturally have seeds. But that doesn’t mean that seedless watermelons are genetically modified—they’re actually hybrids that have been carefully bred to be incapable of producing seeds. They’re kind of the mules of the melon world. And those little white pips you sometimes find inside them? They’re seed coats, where a seed started to form but didn’t mature.
- Losing seeds comes at a cost: flavor. Seedless watermelon varieties have been shown to be missing some key volatile compounds that contribute to the iconic flavor and aroma of this summer treat.
- Small-scale growers, like our local farms, keep seeded varieties alive—including melons with yellow or orange insides and pint-sized mini melons. While their flavor profiles are more intense than commercial watermelons, these varieties are more susceptible to hollow heart—an internal cracking of the fruit’s flesh. But don’t fear. This isn’t caused by a disease or bad genes—it happens when the plants get an uneven amount of water throughout the growing season. So if you cut one open and its heart is hollow, don’t throw it away, just dig in. Eating local never tasted so sweet.
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