What is the sound of one hand clapping?
If a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it, does it make a sound?
What came first, reality TV infamy or the Kardashians?
All of these are unanswerable questions. Meditate on them night and day, and just maybe you'll have an answer...but all of these are timeless mysteries for a reason.
What is watermelon, though, without water?
One could seek out your local friendly mountaintop Zen master...or whip out a food dehydrator and give yourself about a week or so...
...or as of about right now you can head down to everyone here's favorite grocery shop, plop down $3.69, and buy yourself a bag of Trader Joe's Organic Watermelon Jerky.
That's right. Watermelon. In jerky form. As in a famously watery fruit, highly sought after for its thirstquenching glory, dried and flattened and rolled up so as to eliminate any trace of a drop of some high quality H2O.
Listen, I'm about as baffled as you. Or I was. I first heard about this weeks ago and called every other day since then...but there were rollout delays, then weather issues, then...well, finally, I snagged four bags and couldn't wait to rip one open to behold this magical arid fibrous fruit wonder. Waited so long....
It's odd stuff, for sure. It's unquestionably a very concentrated watermelon flavor, as one might expect. It's not as intense as I anticipated, but I'm glad TJ's didn't go the added sugars route. It's just watermelon sans water.
Interesting tidbit from the bag bottom:
Wow! If I'm doing my math right, the end product is about 1/34th its original weight, and is about three quarts of water extracted. Watermelon was hitting that Lasix hard.
All well and good, but what about the texture? How does it actually work?
The melon jerky is kinda stiff, fibrous, and a little sticky. Both bags I have opened thus far have had all the pieces clumped all together necessitating them to be plied apart carefully. I lack any better way to explain it than saying, imagine a thin, dense sponge that got baked dry. That probably sounds more awful then I intend it you, but there's a surprising amount of chew to it. It's not as much as a jerky from a regular source, but still. There's not too many seeds in the jerky either - I think I've seen maybe only two or three per bag, and they meld in well enough with the rest of the product.
I brought some into work to share, and most reviews were pretty friendly. The melon jerky definitely made for some odd reactions and some flatout rejections...but most were positive.
My final call is, if you like watermelon and novel snackage, the jerky is worth at least one try. Worst comes to worst, you can do TJ's no-hassle return policy - but I doubt it'd come to that. I don't know...double fours? That's as much juice as I can squeeze here for these edible contradictions.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Organic Watermelon Jerky: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons.