I like a little fruit for breakfast – blueberries, strawberries, bananas and especially cantaloupes. But I haven’t had even a decent cantaloupe all year long.
I’ll see them in the produce department – $3.99 with card – and the cards taste better. They are tasteless and basically inedible.
Grocery stores wouldn’t sell you a steak that was inedible, or a half-gallon of milk or a dozen eggs you’d have to toss, but when it comes to melons – it’s buyer beware.
If the melons are no good, there should be a sign: “These melons only cost $3.99, but they are mulch-pile material!”
I’d rather pay $7.99 and know that it was a good melon than pay $3 or $4 and have to throw it away.
With summer approaching, locally grown cantaloupes should be ripening on the vines, and they are really good – if not overripe. But most of the big box grocery stores don’t sell local produce. It comes from Mexico or Lord knows where.
My Dad used to “thump” his way through the melon department. Somehow, by thumping, he could tell if a melon was ripe or not. I never had his thumping ability. All I know is to sniff the melons and if they have no appreciable odor, then they are likely the typical, tasteless cantaloupes.
All grocery stores, by the way, play the same game. They put whatever melons come in on the counter, no matter the quality, and most suck.
All these stores would issue refunds, but who wants to bring a half-eaten cantaloupe to customer service, stand in line behind the cigarette buyers for 15 minutes to get a $3 or $4 refund? I just write it off as a bad judgment on my part. I should have known better.
Except for a few weeks out of the year, strawberries are almost as bad. The stores will put 2 or 3 juicy red strawberries on top, then all the half-ripe ones on the bottom of the package. Because of the distance in shipping, they are picked far before they are ripe and sometimes they never ripen.
The best bet for fresh fruit in a grocery story is a pineapple. They are almost always sweet and juicy, and occasionally they are exceptionally good.
I suppose if I want a good cantaloupe, I’ll have to grow it myself.