The Secret of the Square Watermelon
If you’re a fan of watermelons (and let’s be honest, who isn’t) then you’ll love hearing about the Japanese twist to everyone’s favorite fruit, party snack, and vodka holder.
While it’s no real surprise that Japan is the country responsible, it is slightly more surprising how far the square watermelon trend has managed to travel. Shops in the US and Canada are selling the fruit for up to $200 dollars a pop, slightly more than your typical backyard variety.
Farmers in Japan are growing hundreds of these molded watermelons each year and are now re-targeting them towards wealthy and luxury shoppers who like to show off their purchases or give a unique gift.
Some people, mainly those living outside Japan, have claimed the watermelons are full of chemicals, GMO, and other nasty things. But the farmers deny all these claims, saying the watermelons are no different from any other.
To create a square watermelon, farmers simply place the small and young watermelon inside a clear box, meaning when they begin to grow bigger, they take on the shape of the box they are growing within.
They originated due to Japan’s limited kitchen and fridge size. The more manageable square shape is able to utilize fridge space more efficiently. In addition, it is easier to cut.
It’s easy to understand why the shape of a square watermelon is so appealing to many. However, the taste leaves much to be desired. Since they are harvested before they are fully ripe, the square watermelons are often white inside and nearly inedible.
Since the popularity of funny shaped fruits and square watermelons has increased, some creative farmers have begun growing them into a variety of shapes such as pyramids, faces, and hearts.