August 26: On a hot summer day is there anything that tastes as delicious and refreshing as a cold, juicy round watermelon? No wonder this healthy fruit has been enjoyed by man for thousand of years. How about trying square watermelons instead of round ones? Sounds fascinating doesn’t it?

Recently farmers in the southern Japanese town of Zentsuji have discovered a technique to grow their watermelons in square shape says a report of CNN.

The reason they’re doing this in Japan is because of lack of space in refrigerators. They are trying to make watermelons “refrigerator friendly”.

Square Watermelons [Illustration by Shinod AP]
Square Watermelons [Illustration by Shinod AP]

A round watermelon can take up a lot of room in a refrigerator, and the usually round fruit often sits awkwardly on refrigerator shelves. Smart Japanese farmers have forced their watermelons to grow into a square shape by inserting the melons into square, tempered glass cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine.

But these square watermelons come with an expensive tag. Regular watermelons in Japan cost from $15 to $25 each. Each square watermelon costs 10,000 yen, the equivalent of about $82.

Being quite expensive these watermelons would certainly not be consumed by general public. That’s for sure. Maybe consumers may give them as gifts!

But it is also said that there does appear to be a growing U.S. market for watermelon that is more refrigerator-friendly. The industry is hearing from consumers that size does matter.

The so-called fresh-cut watermelon is widely available at U.S. groceries, another possible solution to a crisis created by oversized melons.

Looks like U.S. watermelon lovers will have to settle for fresh-cut for now, and the $82, square watermelon won’t be showing up at American groceries very soon.

What would you prefer square watermelons or curved refrigerators? Who knows in the future there could be watermelon friendly refrigerators for all you watermelons lovers instead!

Did you know?

Watermelon is 92% water, that accounts for most of its weight.

In China and Japan watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.

Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium.

They can be pickled and the rind made into a preservative. Their seeds are a popular delicacy in Oriental countries.

Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide.

400 words | 4 minutes
Readability: Grade 8 (13-14 year old children)
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Filed under: world news
Tags: #japan, #farmers, #fruits

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