Sunday, August 06, 2006


An odd sight greeted us upon our cheerful arrival at the air-conditioned haven known as Cainz Home, which I would describe as a Japanese incarnation of Walmart, without having any actual connection to the powerhouse company. No, that pleasure is reserved for Seiyu, which is basically Walmart in disguise. The company acquired a controlling share of the once aloof Seiyu group after its first attempts to insinuate itself onto the island flopped due to the fickleness of the Japanese populace. Solution: drape a cape of trusted brand recognition around you and let the good times roll.

But I digress.

This particular Cainz Home we visited is considered a Super Center, what with having a grocery and all attached. I mean, I even found baking soda there! So really, I shouldn’t have been surprised with our discovery, except that I was unaware of its very existance. Check it out:

Weird. So weird that we had to try it, just to say that we’ve eaten “kiiroi suika”. The verdict is that if you were to blindfold someone, feed them watermelon A (yellow) and watermelon B (regular) and ask them to guess which one is which, they’d have a 50-50 shot. It doesn’t taste different at all, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that it does because the color throws everything off. It’s like your eyes are arguing vehemently with your taste buds, so your poor brain doesn’t know what to think.

While the taste and (surprisingly) price is the same, I can’t say that the yellow version is quite so aesthetically appealing to my eye as its glistening red counterpart. Evidently, there are many varieties of watermelon (who knew), and the yellow type is grown in the states as well…

… which begs the question of why it took living in Japan to bring them to my attention when they’re grown in a state that touches a corner of mine.

On a purely location-related note, don’t you think the slogan of “Do It Yourself” just screams helpfulness and customer friendly service?


Ljw said...

I think slices/slivers of both colors of watermelon side by side would be lovely.

I think "Do It Yourself" is meant to be perhaps, an empowering statement in this case. I can look at it that way or I can look at it as it being an honest representation of the overt fact that we usually have to do everything ourselves 'cause nobody else will get it right anyway! At least..not in the states here.

Kyle said...

Wow, yellow watermelon... that's just weird, or as Emma would no doubt say, "Yeeugh!" Actually, I'm not surprised that it doesn't taste any different, I think I've had some at some point (like you, my mother saw some and thought our family needed to try it). Give me red any day though.

Are they naturally different colors, or is it like the different color roses where you have to intentionally breed them that way?

"Do it yourself" is my customer survice motto, I hate it when annoying people ask me where things are or for help with their problems. Don't they know I have more important things to do than talk to them? "Make you a sandwhich? Why would I do that? Make yourself a sandwhich!"

Star said...

I haven't a clue whether the different colors come about naturally or through genetic manipulation... I lean towards the latter, but I could be wrong.

Wow Kyle, your customer service motto makes me wish I had dealt with you whenever I desired a bagel sandwich, instead of those annoyingly helpful people who created one according to my every whim. :)

Ljw said...

Now that I think about it, they remind me of hydrangeas. Depending on the amount of iron in the soil, they can be blue, white, purple-ish, pink or mottled. It's probably something the same for the watermelons. Did you know that farm raised salmon aren't naturally pink/orange? They add something synthetic to the feed to make em change color to match wild salmon which feed on little shrimp-like organisms, thus giving them their fleshy color. Another random fact brought to you by yours truly!