This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
M. M., Chicago, 111.: "I have read in an agricultural paper the positive statement, that if the fruit-stem of a watermelon, in its young condition, be bored and impregnated with the flavor of vanilla, lemon, strawberry or any other essence, the mature fruit will have that peculiar flavor instead of or in addition to its own. I should have doubted this, but it seems to accord with what I have read in botanical text books, that, in order to trace the course of the sap in plants, they have been watered with colored liquid, and by tracing the colored liquid the course of the sap has been observed. If the color can be carried through the system of a plant, I suppose the peculiar flavor of that color would go with it. But I should be glad to have the opinion of the Editor of the Gardeners' Monthly".
[This is one of those cases where a person can so readily obtain, by his own experiment, the answer he seeks, that we prefer that the experiment be made. Any person who has a watermelon or cantaloupe patch can get the answer without money and without price. Such an answer would be immeasurably worth more than any answer that the Editor could give.
All we can say is, in a general way, that the flavor of fruits is mainly the result of a vital process with which mere chemistry, as we understand it, has nothing to do; and we should doubt, notwithstanding the reference of our correspondent to the experience of some experimenters in physiology of the past age, that any such external application can be made to permeate the whole structure of a plant or its fruit. - Ed. G. M].