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Attack of the foaming watermelon

watermelonAnd I thought I had it bad with my rotting peach problem.

A friend bought this watermelon at a local fruit stand, let it sit out on her stove overnight, and came back the next day to discover it had rabies.

What do you do with a feral watermelon? And what exactly is going on?

A little research into “foaming watermelons” led me to several blogs and message boards dealing with the scourge of foaming watermelons. It seems when they start to ferment the buildup of pressure will eventually lead to fissures through which the foam starts to pour. This is why it’s important to knock the side of a watermelon — particularly one that has been out in the sun for however many days it takes to sell.

Also: if your watermelon is foaming? Don’t eat it!

Has anyone else been attacked by rabid summer melons?

18 comments Add your comment

East Lake Ira

July 8th, 2010
11:02 am

not here but it looks like fun…

for a couple of bucks i thing i’ve found my weekend entertainment, thanks!

Sue

July 8th, 2010
11:09 am

So when you tap it, what are you supposed to hear? How do you tell its a good one. I have bypassed watermelon buying many times, because I have gotten some very mealy, or not sweet ones!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic and Joy Johnston, John Kessler. John Kessler said: Attack of the foaming watermelon http://bit.ly/d2K0RO [...]

Tomatocult

July 8th, 2010
11:48 am

Holy Cow. You’re friend has a really dirty stovetop. The melon probably started to fester after sitting on that bacterial haven overnight.

Becky

July 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

To funny Tomatocult..My question would be, “Why did she leave it out over night on the stove? If she had to leave it out, wouoldn’t the sink or counter top have been a better place to leave it?

Steven A.

July 8th, 2010
12:49 pm

I kind of have to agree with Tomatocult: gross. Also, who the Hell leaves a watermelon sitting on a stove overnight? You reap what you sow, and this person was sowing CA-RAZY.

I worked in the produce department of a Winn Dixie in college, and among the many horrible smells I discovered there, the most nauseating may have been rotten watermelon. The rind makes it possible for the things to rot from within for some time before it is apparent what’s going on. The sweetness and wateriness of the interior means it turns almost literally into vinegar. Then, it gets punctured, crushed, or occasionally just melts, and releases this goddawful pungent liquid everywhere. God forbid it gets on you.

Still get the shakes thinking about those days.

JDJ

July 8th, 2010
1:07 pm

I had similar experiences, StevenA, but it was melted cucumbers that sent me running away screaming like a girl. Also had the extreme pleasure of emptying out a silo with spoiled alphalpha; slimy vinegar green soup . . . actually DID yakk on that one!

Hungry Gringo

July 8th, 2010
1:20 pm

When I was 12, I worked at a hydroponic tomato farm in an old Pike’s on Memorial Drive, and my job was to pick off the rotten tomatoes. They didn’t foam, but they would be filled with thousands of gnats. So nasty.

David Jones

July 8th, 2010
2:21 pm

My parents actually had a watermelon explode while they were on vacation. The rotten juice penetrated all the way down below the carpet pad (and they had to replace the whole room’s carpet).

NSK

July 8th, 2010
3:11 pm

I grew up growing watermelon in Florida. At the end of harvesting season, we’d set up a deer stand in the middle of the field and shoot the unwanted, bloated, culled melons. Great fun.

tl;dr

July 8th, 2010
3:12 pm

I think I’m off watermelon for a long, long time.

John Kessler

July 8th, 2010
3:30 pm

You have to tap it and listen for a hollow sound.
O watermelon friend, I know you’re reading. Do you want to defend your housekeeping and your decision to leave it on the element?

Ndekalb

July 9th, 2010
11:01 am

A

July 9th, 2010
11:50 am

That is one disgusting stove. Have your friend run some disinfecting wipes over that a few times!

CBH

July 9th, 2010
11:59 am

My sister had an exploding watermelon once, and for unknown reasons it was sitting in her entry hall at the time. The carpet and pad had to be removed and it was some time, even after extensive cleaning of the wood floor underneath and repainting the walls, before the putrid smell went away. Needless to say, all melons now go into her fridge immediately upon arrival.

OY!

July 13th, 2010
2:16 pm

Say what you will about the smell of rotten watermelon, there is nothing worse than a rotten potato. It smells like death and…something worse.

M. Ricci

July 15th, 2010
11:03 am

Oh GOD rotting potatoes!! That nasty black liquid that comes from them is straight out of hell. Just thinking about it makes my throat feel funny.

Roz

July 30th, 2010
10:06 pm

Two days ago I purchased a watermelon. When I got it home I placed it on tray and left the kitchen…came back an hour or so later and the watermelon was expelling a foamy substance. I inspected the watermelon and saw a tiny “fissure” where the foam was coming from. I decided I would let the watermelon sit there and take it back to the grocery store the next day so they could tell me what the heck was happening. Well…..during the night I heard what sounded like someone dropped a ton of bricks and I got out of bed to see what the noise was about and the watermelon had burst open. It was odd because for as loud as it was I would have thought watermelon would have been all over the kitchen but, the watermelon’s contents were still intact, it cracked completely open. HOW BIZZARE!