See those hard shelled black seeds in the photo of sliced watermelon? Good luck finding one of those these days...
NPR's food blog has an article by April Fulton in which she discusses the genetics behind the new wave of "seedless" watermelons, and whether or not the sweet taste of our favorite summer fruit will soon go the way of supermarket tomatoes... bland and flavorless. Since the seedless varieties of watermelon are much more popular these days than the seeded varieties, most grocery stores only carry seedless. If you're planning a seed-spitting contest you might have to visit a farmers' market for your ammunition.
My lovely (and thoroughly dangerous) wife brought home a melon from Kroger a week ago, and that baby was delicious. No seeds, other than a few flimsy (and chewable) thin white ones. I ate most of that melon the day we sliced it, and finished it off the next afternoon. As far as taste goes, it was one of the sweetest melons I can remember eating. Of course, I prefer seedless grapes, too.
According to Fulton's article, the seedless thing is achieved by way of colchicine, a derivative from the crocus used to treat gout. Plants treated with colchicine produce two chromosomes instead of one, and they have triploid cells incapable of maturing to hard, black seeds. Since most customers prefer the seedless melons, they are becoming the most common varieties available for consumers.
But some folks swear the seedless melons taste bland. Since tastes vary ("Tastes very what?" as Latka would say on Taxi) it's difficult to say whether or not that's true. All I can tell you is I ate a ton of watermelon as a kid, and the one we had last week was as sweet and flavorful as any I can remember. And there were no seeds to mess with.
If you've had a seedless melon, let us know what you thought of the taste in comparison to your last seeded one. In the meantime, I'm going back to the store for another.