ALMA, Arkansas – Each summer, my grandmother in Somers, Virginia would save the watermelon rinds after we ate watermelon on the patio of the farmhouse. I never could understand it; you want to eat the flesh, but the rind? Bitter!
That was until I tasted watermelon rind pickle. Yes, they were watermelon rinds, and they were technically pickled, but really they were pickled and sugared and then….chilled. Cloves added? Yes.
Lucky that Old South of Alma, Arkansas is still at it. The company was founded in 1947 in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The site’s history page has it well:
While standing among the vegetable patches along the Arkansas River, one could still see steamboats gracefully cruising by. It was here that Philip F. Bryant began his business of canning jams and preserves. The business prospered, and Bryant Preserving Company products became nationally recognized.
Today, the rinds are a specialty item, and Bryant Preserving makes all sort of old south edibles including pickled okra and a strange invention called Tomolives.