All Things Watermelon

Freshly picked selection:

Watermelon

For many, a juicy slice of ripe watermelon is the definition of summertime and backyard BBQ’s.   Watermelons come in many colors and sizes and their flesh can range from red, pink, ivory, orange or yellow.  They can be as small as a cantaloupe and weigh as much as 260 lbs, as cited by the Guinness Book of World Records.  Watermelons originate from Africa and have an extremely high water content with sweet, juicy, yet crisp flesh.  Their peak season is from mid June to late August although you can typically find watermelon outside of those times, they just may not be as sweet.

What do I look for?

The outside of a watermelon should be cylindrical in shape without any flat spots.  The rind should not be punctured, bruised, or soft.  When cut, the flesh should be vibrant in color without any dry looking patches and to the eye should not be grainy in texture.  Seedless watermelons typically will still have some seeds, but they are soft in texture and edible.

Ways to Eat:

A ripe watermelon is delicious when freshly sliced.  They can also be enjoyed in juices, smoothies, alcoholic beverages, sorbets, salads, desserts or even quickly seared or grilled for a savory approach.  In many parts of the world, every part of the watermelon is used – even the rind.  Pickling the rind is very popular in southern cuisine and in other cultures.  In Asian cuisine, the seeds are often enjoyed roasted.

Recipes:

Put a twist on your favorite Caprese salad by adding watermelon; it’s a light and refreshing appetizer for those hot summer days!

This Grilled Watermelon Salad adds contrast to the sweetness of watermelon by giving it a quick sear on the grill.

This Summer Shrimp Salad combines all of the fresh flavors of lime, watermelon, cilantro, and avocado into a refreshingly light salad topped with shrimp.

Nutritional Benefits:

References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“Watermelon.” Worlds Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31.

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