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The Square Watermelon - Strange Fruit Indeed!

Craving some ususual foods?

Guest Blogger, Steve Levenstein, is a writer, copywriter and
Japanophile from Toronto, Canada. The tide of wild, wacky and wonderful
products from Japan seems to beg for commentary, and Steve has happily taken on the burden of doing just that. Steve is the Assistant Editor of The Driver Magazine and has just set up his portfolio website here.

He has some great inventions from Japan to share with the readers of AmericanInventorSpot.com. Here's his article:

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Japanese designers and engineers have earned a reputation for improving products invented by others, allowing them to become saleable, desirable and popular. Consider the videotape recorder, for example. Invented by AMPEX in the mid-1950s, the concept was taken to its logical extension by Japanese electronics giant JVC and introduced to the masses in 1976 as the VHS cassette. This time, however, Japan's creative techies think they can improve on Mother Nature, and by jove I think they've done it!

The Square Watermelon... chew on that for a moment, if you will. The first question that comes to mind is, "Why?" Well, besides its novelty value, there are actually several darned good reasons for making a watermelon in a square shape. Since these things make great gifts, it makes sense to package them in boxes and a square shape fits into a square box with the minimum amount of wasted space. In addition, the shape naturally lends itself to being bedecked in a decorative ribbon, birthday-present style. Think of it, a delicious watermelon packed in a home-grown gift box! And a gift that will be appreciated, knowing the cost: figure about $80 & change for one of these babies compared to about $20 for a boring, unfashionable oval one. Naturally, you're going to want to chill your prized gift, and the shape fits perfectly inside a Japanese refrigerator. Take it out, and it won't roll away!

After "Why?", you're probably wondering "How?"... and no, they aren't grown from square seeds. Farmers in Zentsuji, located in southern Japan, place the small on-the-vine watermelons in tempered glass forms that force the growing melons to conform to their shape while still receiving necessary sunlight. Only about 400 of the four-sided fruits are grown each season. One would suppose that triangular or pyramid-shaped watermelons could also be created using this technique, but then we'd be back to "Why?" and this is the "How?" section.

The Square Watermelon can be found in Japanese grocery stores in Tokyo and Osaka and is not currently available in the USA. Square watermelons grown in Brazil have lately become available in Great Britain, though, so we may be enjoying them here yet! Prices in Japan are in the $80 - $85 range (about 10,000 yen) when in season.

Steve Leventstein
Guest Blogger
AmericanInventorSpot.com

 

Comments
May 9, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Would it be inappropriate to

Would it be inappropriate to use a melon baller on a square watermelon?

May 12, 2007
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

A cuber might be better.

A cuber might be better.

May 12, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hmm, isn't that the place

Hmm, isn't that the place Kennedy tried to invade in '61?

May 17, 2007
by Anonymous Mel Hahn (not verified)

It's Still Watermelon no matter how you slice it

However, it looks like it might be easier to slice than a round/oval watermelon.  On second thought, though, I think that would make it more difficult to eat off of the rind.  There would be too much "loose" watermelon in the center. 

 The price is high and the watermelon doesn't look very big, but that seems to be the case for the (regular) ones I've seen so far this year in the stores.

 Isn't a "melon" supposed to be round?  If so, then the square water"melon" will need a new name.

May 18, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Squelon? Squadsh?

Squelon? Squadsh? Tetramelon? Dollarmelon (from the price)? I'm going with "Squelon", and you heard it here first!

May 29, 2007
by Cosmos (not verified)

melon

this is preatty old news,, the size of this melon is squared to fit better in box... nothing else....

Aug 21, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

 This is old hat, used to

 This is old hat, used to do it back in the 70's also round , cylindrical and pyramid.

 This can be done to most fruits and vegtables.

Mar 17, 2008
by Anonymous

triangle shaped watermelons

They are better than square watermelons.

Nov 21, 2008
by Anonymous

not original

basiclly,i think that making melons square is not original !sorry... it just came out of my brain...SORRY

Nov 21, 2008
by Anonymous

...squarery...

its so cute and shiny!!! cute like everything in JAPAN!!! i think square watermelons are more tastier!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!

Nov 21, 2008
by Anonymous

IT'S SO EASY!!

YOU KNOW ....AH...SQUARE MELONS ARE NOT WEIRD AT ALL!all they do is put it in a box and grow it...WHAT'S SO COOL?!

Nov 21, 2008
by Anonymous

squares are good luck.

you know ah...squares are good luck. says who??? an asian astrologist named ME!!! you think i'm lying???eat the melon and money just come down from the sky!!!!!!!!!