There is nothing that says 'summer' quite like cold, crisp, sweet, juice-running-down-your-chin watermelon. Nearly everyone likes watermelon and the few who don't, well, what can I say?
I was prompted to write this post after purchasing 2 watermelons last weekend for a party at my house. The first one was a 'grab it and go' selection. The entire inside was mush and juice that ran everywhere when I cut into it. Yuck. A quick trip to a nearby grocery and I had another one. It was solid and edible but light pink and not the sweetness I desired.
I decided to do some 'melon research' (after the fact, of course). I am going to share all the good information I learned. Applause, please.
#1) Watermelons are NOT a fruit; they are a vegetable and related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. Do NOT, under any circumstances, tell your children they are a vegetable.
#2) There are over 1200 varieties; with 50 being the most common. Only 50? I have enough trouble choosing when there are only a few varieties available. The seedless ones were introduced nearly 50 years ago. I realize some folks believe they aren't as sweet as the seeded varieties, but as a former caterer, I thanked God many times for the seedless watermelons.
#3) A watermelon should be heavy due to the fact it is 92% water. I'm trying to figure out how I can use that as an excuse for my rather rotund figure; maybe say I am heavy due to being over 90% water?
#4) The first watermelons are believed to have been in Egypt, thousands of years ago. There are hieroglyphics on cave walls depicting melons. If I was going to spend hours in a cave chiseling or drawing, I think I might have found something a little more interesting than a melon.
#5) Watermelons are grown in 44 of the 50 states, with FL, TX, GA, CA and AZ leading the way. I'm impressed they are grown in all the states but 6.
#6) The largest watermelon, according to Guinness World Records, was grown by Lloyd Bright of Arkansas in 2005. It weighed in at 268.8 pounds. I can't even think of a comment for that.
#7)In Japan and China, a watermelon is a very popular gift for a host or hostess. It would be less expensive than a bottle of good wine, but how the heck do you wrap a watermelon?
Now that you are armed with all those non-essential facts, here's the ones you do need to know before your next trip to the grocery or farm market.
How To Choose the Perfect Watermelon:
a) Lift it; it should be solid and heavy (remember all that water)
b) The tendril on the blossom end should be dried and shriveled.
c) There should be a cream-colored patch on the bottom where it laid on the ground and the sun did not hit it.
d) Last, but not least, 'thump' it with your knuckles. It should have a deep hollow sound.
Will all these absolutely guarantee a perfectly ripe melon? No. There is no guarantee, but they may help.
**Remember to wash the outside thoroughly, even if you aren't going to eat the rind.
The best melon is the one you just ate and the juice is running down your chin.
- 3 cups watermelon cubes, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups strawberry-flavored, calorie-free carbonated water, chilled
- Place watermelon cubes and raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Pour through a sieve; discard pulp.
- Combine the sugar and water in the small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside allow to cool slightly.
- Stir the sugar-water and lemon juice onto the watermelon raspberry juice mixture. Pour the juice mixture onto a covered freezer container. Freeze until firm
- Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the mixture into tall glasses. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of the strawberry flavored water over the frozen juice in each glass. Serve immediately.
SODIUM 2mg; FIBER 0.6g
Recipe is from The Town Dish