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.
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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