Saturday, July 26, 2014

Modern Food: A Report from the Grocery Store

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store in search of a big watermelon, but I wasn't sure I'd be successful--or that I'd want to pay.  A few years ago, I saw big watermelons for $25.

Yes, $25--that's ridiculous.  I thought of past decades where I could get similar watermelons for less than five dollars.   I thought of the pick up trucks loaded with melons that I used to see on the country roads of South Carolina.  Had there been some kind of watermelon blight?

Happily, yesterday I was more successful.  I got a fairly large melon for $6.95.  Still a bit much, I thought, but I wanted a watermelon that could feed a crowd.

I noticed it was seed-free, so I looked for the regular variety.  Nope, nothing.  I noticed that there were 7 big watermelons and 2 of them looked strangely pale.

My experience makes me want to go to other grocery stores.  Do any of them carry a variety of watermelons?  Or do so  many of us buy the smaller melons that stores have stopped carrying them?  Or is it a situation unique to South Florida?

There were very few melons at all, of any kind--more cut up melons in plastic containers of all sizes than whole melons.  Hmmm. 

I'm not surprised, of course.  When I'm shopping for just my household, I often buy the packaged melons.  I'm just a bit sad that the other options seem to be going away.

I was also shopping for a pasta salad, and I know that at least one person isn't eating gluten.  I thought I'd see if the store carried gluten-free pasta.

Well, not only do they carry gluten-free pasta, but also whole wheat, hidden veggie, multi-grain--and that's in addition to the wide variety of regular pasta.  And the store carries "fresh" pasta too.

We live in amazing times, in so many ways.  I can get a variety of pastas from Italy--but I can't seem to get a watermelon with seeds that I know grow in fields in counties all around me.

1 comment:

Jeannine Hall Gailey said...

Kristin, watermelons should be fairly easy to grow with all that sunshine - try growing some smaller varieties in your back yard next year! (Try online seed purveyors who do heirloom varietals, and make sure they work for your "zone." Here in Seattle we have a wide variety of melons, some I can't even name, with tiny sugar watermelons with little white seeds to the usual giant stripey kind with black seeds. The farmer's markets carry them, as well as places like local independent grocers and Whole Foods. Even our chains (like QFC, part of Krogers) does a pretty good job keeping them stocked. I would think in your climate there would be all kinds!