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Watermelon Three Ways

By Chef Jeremy Reinicke
There may not be a more quintessential summer fruit than the watermelon! This succulent, refreshing and juicy fruit was first cultivated in West Africa and has since gained worldwide popularity. Unlike many other fruits, the watermelon will NOT continue to ripen after it has been harvested so it is important to know how to select the best of the bunch when you are selecting your girthy homeward bound summer treat. 
Furthering this daunting task is the fact that even a perfectly ripe and delicious watermelon will not give off its sweet aroma until it has been cut open. The density of its skin will give little or no clue regarding its ripeness. Below are clues to help you find the specimen that has been harvested at its peak of ripeness. 
  • Find a melon with some slightly browned webbing on its skin
  • Look for a pale creamy yellow belly (aka field spot) avoid one with a white spot (indicating under-ripeness)
  • It should feel heavy for its size
  • Should give off a hollow thud when tapped with the palm of your hand
  • Know that an elongated melon is juicer and less sweet and a round melon is less juicy but significantly sweeter
I waste NOTHING when it comes to watermelon! I head to the market and buy one medium sized melon, I generally opt for the sweeter round kind. I use half of the melon to make my “Watermelon Cucumber salad with Feta and Mint”. Sometimes I add grilled chicken to this salad too. With the remaining half, the juicy red flesh goes into my “Watermelon-Jalapeno Cooler”, perfect for the patio on these balmy August evenings. As for the remaining rind, it gets peeled and cubed, and goes into mason jars awaiting my “pickle brine” to turn them into savory little bites for an appetizer bowl or summer cocktail garnish. And just because I like you, I’ve included all three of these recipes for you to enjoy! 😊
Don’t forget, our kitchen is open and I cant wait to get cooking with each of you again!
I hope to see you soon.
Chef Jeremy