Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Random Picture #77


The Simpsons rather famously made the idea that Japan has square watermelons common knowledge. The thing is, I've lived in Japan for 22 years and I had never seen them in the flesh before. There may be some marketplace in the posher areas of Tokyo which routinely offers these melons, which are normal melons grown into this shape by growing them into a particular vessel. However, the idea that vendors on the streets are offering them or that the Japanese routinely buy them (which one might conclude from the Simpsons clip... and isn't popular culture our great educator?) is very far from the truth. I saw my first square watermelon in Japan earlier this week. It was a tiny little thing, about the size of a big grapefruit and kept in a protective acrylic box. Needless to say, it was not for sale but merely there to gain attention. So, if you are planning a trip to Japan and hoping to buy yourself a novelty melon, you might want to think again. Most of them are the round pedestrian variety.

7 comments:

Nora said...

It's probably the same for all kinds of places around the world, but Japan's reputation for quirky stuff like this means it seems to be the target of this kind of "square watermelons are everywhere" misconception a lot. I've also seen lists of strange ice cream flavors made for and served at very specific industry events presented in a way that would make the average reader think Tokyoites regularly eat eel- or raw horsemeat ice cream, and that it's available at any corner convenience store.

So...any plans on reviewing this abalone ice cream I keep hearing about? I understand it's all the rage. ;)

Elizabeth Michelle Ho said...

hi!! I don't think I've ever commented any of your posts, but the reason for that is that I read it off my itouch and my itouch doesn't have "cookies enabled" so I can't post comments. I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog- I love your humor and your attention to detail and quality, and I read it all the time whenever I have free time! It makes me hungry and makes me want to go to Japan just to try the snacks out haha. I guess I felt the need to go on my computer to comment this just so you would have an extra reminder that you do have loyal viewers and that your blogging does matter, whether or not it always shows in the number of comments. that's all!

Will said...

Since Nora brought it up,if anyone ever offers to buy you a cone of 'shrimp flavored' soft ice-cream, no one can fault you for just saying 'no thanks'.

Elle Audrey Marie said...

I haven't seen much of the squared watermelons as well, like Nora said, it depends on the person's experience when they are in Japan visiting, but horse meat ice cream.... WTF? lol

Orchid64 said...

Nora: Abalone ice cream... Yeah, I think I'll be giving that a pass!

Elizabeth: Hi, and thank you so much for your kind comment! It really is that sort of talk that keeps me going when I'm incredibly busy and have trouble finding the time to blog!

Will: Since I hate shrimp, I'd probably pass simply because I am nearly certain to dislike it. All of that being said, a student gave me cheese and bacon flavored crickets, and I was willing to eat one but it grossed my husband out too much. I am sometimes "brave", but tend to shy from seafood that I already know I dislike.

Thanks to all of you for your comments and reading!

ebidebby said...

I shudder to know what other countries assumed about the American diet when the story on deep-fried butter at the Wisconsin State Fair was big news. Not that what we actually eat as a nation is much better...

tampabayfood.com said...

hahahaha it's beautiful! it's a miracle.