Jul 5, 2018
Today is a great day. Our friendly vegetable lady (one of these days we'll actually tell each other our names) came by to visit. She started with her usual hard sell where she hands me a box of something that has way more produce than any family could consume (who needs 25 tomatoes???). We did the usual kabuki dance where I thanked her for the offer but that I don't really need 25 of any one type of vegetable as she kept lowering her price.
Me: "Oh wow, these look great, but we already have tomatoes."
Her: "Okay, you can have the box for 1000 yen."
Me: "Thank you, but I'm okay, really."
Her: "750 yen?"
Me: "Still good, thank you."
Her: "Here, you can have the tomatoes and this box of cucumbers for 1000 yen." [Hands me a box of 25 cucumbers]
Me [now with arms full of tomatoes and cucumbers]: "Oh, no thank you, really."
After we finished that little tango I followed her out to her van to see what else she had and there it was:
Her first Yairo Watermelon of the season.
And when I say "first," I mean literally the first she's produced this year. Sure, it's a bit on the small side, but for just 600 yen, it was a steal.
As we were bidding farewell, I told her to keep the watermelons coming. (And yes, I realized after the fact that I will probably end up with a barrel of 25 watermelons on my porch in a few weeks...Although I might be able to handle that.)
So what's so good about Yairo watermelon? Well, like all the crops out here, the watermelon benefits from the rich Niigata soil and the pure snow melt water that flows from the mountains. The result is a juicier watermelon that ends up with a higher sugar content than your run-of-the-mill watermelons. It's the perfect summer treat to combat the heat and humidity, and they work well even when frozen and blended into watermelon smoothies.
Although we're lucky to have some more mild weather, my family and I will have the best summer dessert to enjoy later.
Like I said: Today is a great day!
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).