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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Market Basket
Watermelon lovers now have choices

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

Watermelons available in stores now include Sangria (long quarter) and Thai (short round).

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Watermelons are the perfect hot weather treat: icy cold, sweet and juicy with few calories, no fat and some good nutrients, too. Most watermelons in our markets are grown here in the Islands, picked ripe and available to us within hours of harvest. We're also seeing some new specialty watermelons that are a real treat.

Larry Jefts' farm in Kunia provides us with big watermelons: 25-pound, long, dark fruit often on special for 20 cents or less per pound. Jefts grows Sangria variety watermelon, which usually registers a brix level of 13 à , or pretty sweet (the higher the brix number, the sweeter the fruit). This is the best watermelon to take on a picnic or to a party because it can serve a crowd and provide refreshment all day long. It's also available in halves and quarters in many markets.

Aloun Farms in Kunia has introduced Ewa Sweet Thai Watermelons this year, a variety popular in China, Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia. This melon is oval in shape with a striped, thin skin, averaging 6-8 pounds each. The flesh is denser than a Sangria, bright red with black seeds. These are delicious melons, but expect to pay more for them.

Out Waialua and Kahuku way, Clyde Fukuyama and Melvin Matsuda send Yellow Doll watermelons to Honolulu markets. These striking, bright-yellow-fleshed melons are aromatic and sweet. This is the second year for their crop and there should be adequate supply through early September. Yellow Dolls average about 10 pounds each; they are priced higher than regular watermelon, too. Don't confuse this watermelon with seedless yellow ones from the Mainland.

Summer fruit smaller

The summer stone fruit season is under way, but you may have noticed that the fruit is smaller in size than usual. The warm weather in California in the last several months has stunted the growth of peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums and apricots, according to Mark Teruya of Armstrong Produce, the state's largest distributor.

Send shopping queries and new product information to: Market Basket, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail: jnamkoong@honoluluadvertiser.com Or call: 525-8069.