Japanese Cube and Heart-Shaped Watermelons: Are They Edible?
Watermelons are oh-so-delicious and so perfectly healthy, but they are also round and big and often impossible to fit into your fridge. Japan has taken the reins of changing its watermelon image however and has brought to the world the fruit in the shape of a cube and, of late, as a heart.
I thought it was a hoax. Literally. I mean, how on earth can you viably change the shape of a fruit? According to multiple sources, the first cube-shaped watermelon has been growing for over 30 years, wherein in 2001 BBC reported that these square cubes have been stunning Japanese shoppers. It is not just the Japanese who have stared wide-eyed at this innovation only, however. The fruit in its natural shape goes for about $1-3 equivalent, but the cubes are sold for 10,000 yen, equivalent to about $83.
Furthermore, the fruit is not actually edible because by the time it is the proper shape, it has not been given the time needed to also mature. As such, one can buy a non-edible square watermelon for nearly $100 from posh upscale supermarkets and use it as decoration or gifts that could last up to a year or more. Interesting choice of gift, if you ask me, and somewhat quite useless. It makes for a great conversation at any party though!
See, if they can make watermelons into cubes, why can't they make them into other shapes asked some Japanese villagers. And so they did. Farmer Hiroichi Kimura from Kumamoto Prefecture has successfully grown the first heart-shaped watermelon, based on a joke of a question his neighbour gave. They may be expensive, but these are edible.
Unlike the cubes, Kimura ensured he understood the needs of a watermelon in order to have them tasting sweet and utterly delicious. According to Japan Daily Press, "People say that the heart watermelons have a crunchy consistency that gives way to pleasantly sweet juices. Upon eating of the melon’s red flesh, one is left with a mellow sweet aftertaste that lingers on the palate. Kimura himself says that the taste was better than he had imagined. When asked what his motivation was for his dedicated work, Kimura’s answer is as simple as it is heartwarming. 'I want my customers to eat something delicious,' Kimura explains."