Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Less rain makes sweeter watermelons
今年少雨乾旱 西瓜反而爆甜

A woman samples a watermelon at a watermelon contest in Yunlin County on May 12. With less rain this year, watermelons are sweeter than last year.
一位女性五月十二日,正在雲林縣的一場西瓜競賽上在一個西瓜上取樣。由於今年降雨量少,所以西瓜比去年甜。

Photo: Huang Shu-li, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者黃淑莉

The 2011 Taiwan Watermelon Festival kicked off on May 14 at the Yunlin County Stadium in Douliou City. Leading up to the main contest was a smaller contest for high-quality watermelons held on May 12 . With much less rain this year, watermelons are tasting sweeter. The sweetness of the watermelons sampled during the contest had an average sweetness slightly over 13 degrees Brix — a standard measurement of sugar content.

The month of May marks the beginning of the watermelon season. The strange weather at the beginning of the year with cold and hot temperatures fluctuating abnormally has caused the growth of watermelons to be unstable. The harvest had to be delayed by two weeks, therefore there were fewer participants in the contest this year. The organi-zers canceled the “watermelon king” category because there were not enough participants. However, other categories such as “large-sized watermelons,” “medium-sized watermelons,” “seedless mini-watermelons” and “unique watermelons” were still included. In total, more than 1,500 watermelons were entered into the contest.

The jury makes selections according to specific criteria for weight, appearance, shape, sweetness, as well as the quality and color of the fleshy center. The watermelon’s appearance must appeal to the eye and be flawless, without any scars left by insects. The shape must be normal. The fleshy center must be crispy, delightful, smooth and juicy. The sweetness should measure at least 10 degrees Brix, and the sweeter the watermelon, the higher the score. Organizers sampled the watermelons last week and measured an average sweetness of slightly more than 13 degrees Brix.

One jury member said that unstable weather this year has caused the watermelons to look worse than last year, but since it has rained much less the watermelons are tasting much sweeter. When consumers are selecting watermelons to purchase at the market this year, they will undoubtedly find a tasty one.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)

二○一一台灣西瓜節上週六在斗六雲林縣立體育館舉行,上週四率先登場的,是高品質西瓜競賽。由於今年雨量少,所以西瓜口味比較甜,參賽西瓜甜度平均都超過十三糖度—糖度是測量物品糖含量的標準。

五月進入西瓜產季,由於今年初氣候冷熱波動異常,西瓜生長不穩定,產期較往年延後約兩週,因此今年西瓜競賽參加者較少,西瓜王更因報名人數不足而取消,其他組別依然有有大型西瓜組、中型西瓜組、迷你無子西瓜組,以及珍奇西瓜組,總計有一千五百多個各種西瓜。

評審標準依:果重、外觀、果型、甜度、肉質、肉色等項目,進行嚴格評選。外觀必須亮麗無瑕、且無蟲孔疤痕、果形端正,肉質脆爽、細嫩多汁,甜度需在十度以上,甜度越高得分越高。工作人員上週以儀器測甜度,平均超過十三度。

一位評審委員指出,今年氣候不穩定,所以西瓜外觀不如往年漂亮,但因雨量少,甜度絕對「爆甜」啦!民眾在市場選購絕對都能買到好吃的西瓜。

(自由時報記者黃淑莉)

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