What-A-Melon on the Side of the Road

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It’s late in year for watermelons, but there are still some on the fruit stands. I saw a vendor with a pick-up truck full of nice-looking specimens parked along the side of FM 1960. The split open melons on the tailgate looked so red and juicy I had to pull over. I was a little shocked at the prices--the vendor, whose name was Miguel, wanted $9 to $10 for these admittedly huge melons. But he assured me they were extremely sweet.

I might have said “forget it” and got back in my car but for the sticker on the melon I was considering. This wasn’t just a watermelon, this was a “What-A-Melon” according to the label, which identified a grower down in Edinburg. The evocative name reminded me of all those colorful fruit crate labels that have now become collector’s items.

Photos by Robb Walsh

It may be little more than a marketing ploy, but a brand name still inspires confidence. You know that Sweetreat Oranges are going to taste better than plain, ordinary oranges. And that Buckeye Apples are going to be a little crisper than generic apples. Based on the excellent quality of my What-A-Melon, I hope brand name fruit makes a comeback. –

Robb Walsh

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