Sweet Life Presents Texas Talent – Tony Anderson from What-A-Melon in Edinburg, Texas – Watermelon with Roasted Peach Pepper Vinaigrette

Happy Monday to all and welcome to my second installment of Texas Talent, where I showcase talented Texans who live, love and work in the Texas food industry. Today I have the honor of interviewing Tony Anderson from What-A-Melon located locally here in Edinburg, Texas.  I knew the instant I tasted Tony’s wonderfully sweet watermelons, that I had to chat with him.  My love for watermelons runs deep beginning with fond childhood memories to present day daily indulgences.  In the past before I began blogging I don’t think I appreciated the time, patience and love that went into growing these highly addictive melons.  I was much too consumed with my melon fetish that I put aside the wonderful farmers who bless me each year with their produce.   In researching I found that Texas ranks 3rd in production in the US and almost 42,000 acres here are devoted to provide us with a perfectly sun kissed product.  Tony’s family has been growing watermelons since the 1960s and after purchasing many of his red jewels, I  can clearly understand why his family business thrives and I hope they continue to offer us many more years of wonderful watermelons.  Let’s chat with Tony for awhile and move on to our featured recipe.  Please help me in thanking Tony for his ever sweet product, and offer our condolences to Tony for his father Deroy Anderson recently passed.  I am certain Tony will continue his father’s great work and look forward to enjoying many more watermelon from What -A -Melon. Enjoy, Sweet Life

 Sweet Life – Hello Tony , welcome can you please give  my readers a little background into your family business, What- A- Melon.

Tony-   WhatAMelon is the brand name for Anderson Produce. My dad, Deroy Anderson, started growing watermelons in the 1960’s with his father, JT,  in Yoakum county in west Texas. At first they would grow and harvest the watermelons and sell them to watermelon “brokers” who would travel around buying watermelons from different growing areas throughout the season. Watermelons were a supplement to farming cotton and grain and raising cattle until the late seventies. After some setbacks in the cattle market, my Dad decided to focus full time on watermelons. It is a decision he never regretted. Over the next decades, his insistence on quality helped build Anderson Produce and it’s marketing arm, Texas Melon Exchange, into one of the largest watermelon shipping operations in the country.

 

 

Sweet Life- What is the process in selecting only the finest melons for your consumers?

Tony-     Moving an army is a better description of the process. We ship watermelons from our packing facility in Edinburg from November through June. We then move several truckloads of equipment and a small army of people to Midland Texas. We then repeat the process and move it all to Plains Texas. When the harvest is finished in Plains we move it all back down to Edinburg.  The people are what allows us to ship the best watermelon day in and day out. You have to have experienced people to select the ripe watermelons from the  fields, and then grade the watermelons at the packing facility.  My father passed away last week, and a big part of his legacy will be the group of people he put together, many who have been with him more than 20 years, and one who worked with him for 44 years.

Thanks Tony and  please stop by Wednesday  as we continue our chat.  Shall we enjoy watermelon?  What if you combined fresh Texas watermelon and Texas peaches in a sweet, savory salad.  Roasting the peaches on high temp allows them time to release their juices, making for easy processing. Add good olive oil and freshly ground pepper drizzle on slices of watermelon for a perfect side salad for your next meal. Easy, quick and tasty, really what else could you ask for. Enjoy!

Stop by and check out What-A-Melon’s site.   Above picture taken at What-A-Melon location.

What – A – Melon  

 

 Watermelon with Roasted Peach Pepper Vinaigrette

by Sweet Life

by Vianney Rodriguez

serves 4

4 peaches, halved seed removed

olive oil

salt

freshly ground pepper

 

Place peach halves on roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Broil on high heat until lightly charred.

Place peaches in food processor and begin to process, slowly add olive oil to thin slightly.

Taste and add salt.

Process again adding freshly ground pepper, add pepper to your taste,  season with salt if needed.

 

Want more watermelon? try agua de sandia… click here..

Loving the Sweet Life, hey subscribe and enjoy each recipe sent directly to your email…

(oh and lastly all pictures and words are mine, yes mine, don’t be sleazy and steal work..it’s copyrighted, yup all mine…love ya! Sweet Life)

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Kathe Colton says

    I have been out of the loop for several years, and did not know that Deroy had died. I have thought of him often, and fondly, over the years. What-A-Melon is, has always been, and will always be, the best watermelon grown!

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, this just sounds so tasty and refreshing, I have to run out and get a watermelon. What a wonderful interview. I love that you showcase the local producers. Too cool!

  3. cassie says

    We love you pawpaw!! Look down and be proud, you’ve left more than a legacy, you left a family that loves you and will continue to folow in your footsteps :) We’re proud to be Anderson’s and/or know Anderson’s

  4. says

    I love you r idea of featuring a local producer. They so deserve it, don’t they? I think I should do the same… I just did a post about my favourite Saturday morning grocery picks, which introduced a lot of my personal providers to my local reading community. I meed to do more. Thanks for the motivation!
    :)
    Valerie

  5. Eric Zey says

    I know first hand that Tony Anderson “is a chip off the old block”. These are quality people that always ship the best of the harvest.
    For over 25 years I’ve never stopped enjoying their wonderful watermelon.

  6. says

    What a fun interview! we always have watermelon around the house. It’s so perfect to grab for a midday snack!

    I really should start using it in other incarnations though. Like this salad for instance…

  7. says

    Great interview, great recipe (I’m dying to know what the watermelon tastes like paired with that sweet and zesty vinaigrette) and I really enjoyed reading about Tony’s company.

    Love the series, looking forward to the next installment :)

  8. says

    Ooo, girl, I hope that you are feeling totally awesome again after your illness. Thanks for interviewing Tony–it really helps to put a face to those who have been helping us in the city survive with their hard work in growing food. That watermelon dish that you’ve cooked up looks so cute…

  9. says

    Watermelon is my favorite fruit! The Peach Pepper Vinaigrette sounds delish.

    Nice interview with Tony. Sorry to read about his dad.

    Carmen

    p.s. Have you experienced people stealing your photography?

    • Vianneybonnie says

      @Carmen… I have not had anything stolen, thanks goodness…but my copyright button has not been working and it’s frustrating me..so I left my own litte note, lol
      hugs, bonnie

  10. says

    As a new Texan…I’m so enjoying these Texas Talent Posts! I love watermelon, and I’ve found that the local watermelons are just delicious. I love the recipe that you included in your post…such a unique choice. Thank you for sharing with me, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

  11. says

    That recipe and those pictures are beautiful! I love recipes like this, unexpected, unique, savory and sweet! Love it!

    Thanks for sharing Tony’s story. Sounds like his father was a smart, smart man and sounds like he left the business in the capable hands of Tony – who will continue making him proud!

  12. says

    Bonnie…I would literally bathe in fresh lusciously sweet watermelon…and no ancho this time ;o) Your vinaigrette is very versatile…thanks.
    BTW…thanks for leaving me a note on the chile peppers less seed method…I promise, I’ll give it a fair shake the next time I’m approached with such a fiesty dish ;o)

    Love the WhatAMelon name for the brand…brilliant.

    It’s nice of you to showcase your pride in your state of Texas ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  13. says

    Hey Bonnie! This is a wonderful post. I often wonder why people aren’t more interested in the farmers who painstakingly grow their food and what techniques they use.
    The watermelon produced by What-a-Melon looks beautiful. And I love that photo of the slices-makes me want one;) Would you sit outside with me and spit seeds (smile)? Oh, and I love hearing a farmer say that they no longer have to sell to a broker. That’s great!
    Wonderful post, Bonnie. Stella

    • Vianneybonnie says

      @Stella….oh girl I would sit outside with you all day and spit seeds, but get ready for chuls and pips to join us, lol their like chicle…(gum) lol
      bonnie

  14. says

    I absolutely adore watermelon and eat it every day of summer, but rarely ever dress it up at all. This sounds like a very different but delicious approach!

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