08 Jun Yummy Watermelons and Watermelon Pigs
Watermelons! They’re so good to eat! Have you ever wondered just how many watermelons are being consumed each year? Me too …but I couldn’t find an answer. However, I did find out that an average American eats almost 16 pounds of watermelon each year, according to statistics.
Watermelon always tastes great but some are clearly better than others. Have you wondered why? Obviously there are different types of watermelons available beyond the seeded and seedless options, but there are also some great tips you can follow to make sure you’re bringing home one of the tastiest in the produce section or farmer’s market.
How to Choose a Yummy Watermelon
Yes! This is totally important. Here are some of the best characteristics to look for in a watermelon to ensure you and your crew have a tasty and healthy summer snack. Check out these watermelon buying tips and let us know if you have used these methods to choose your watermelons in the past.
#1 – You don’t want a picture perfect watermelon, such as the one above. The truth is, that shiny appearance on the outside of your watermelon means it’s under ripe on the inside. Choose an already developed dull-looking watermelon. The same rule applies to Honeydews …if you’re a fan.
#2 – The side on which your watermelon sat while growing in the field is called the ‘field spot’ or ‘yellow spot’. If your watermelon’s field spot is not a nice creamy shade of yellow such as the one pictured here, keep looking.
#3 – If you love a watermelon that is amazingly sweet, you should remember that the darker this yellow spot is, the sweeter your melon will taste! A white field spot means your watermelon isn’t ripe and hasn’t had a chance to sweeten up yet.
#4 – You have probably seen people in the produce aisle, knocking on watermelons and other fruit and listening to the sound this makes. Are you wondering if there is anything to this old trick? Yes, prepare to join the masses who knock on their fruit in the grocery store because a “dull” thud indicates soft flesh and an under ripe fruit. When you knock on a watermelon, your knuckles should bounce off of the melon, meaning the rind should be hard and firm.
#5 – Don’t buy a watermelon without picking several of them up! You want to find the heaviest watermelon of the particular size you want. The heavier your watermelon, the more water your fruit contains. Note the difference: the heaviest does not necessarily mean the largest.
#6 – While you have that big guy in your arms, feel him up. It’s not like you aren’t already lusting after his tasty goodness anyway. Fell for lumps, bumps and knots to find areas of inconsistency which will mean your watermelon might have gotten inconsistent amounts of sun and water during the growth process which can affect its taste and quality.
Now that you’ve got the information needed to find the absolute best watermelon available in your area, here are some cute ways to incorporate those darling pigs we all love into your next family day, friendly gathering or celebration. All you need is a really sharp knife, a cutting board and a melon baller and you’re ready to create an edible masterpiece from your watermelon.
Expect many compliments and enjoy the faces of children when they first see this amazing carved fruit display. Here are some other variations to consider when creating a festive watermelon pig for your special day.
I would suggest using fruit that you can find in season to save money while making a watermelon pig. As you can see in the next photograph (right), you can opt to serve only its own fruit in your watermelon carving.
Some of the more popular fruit additions that hold up well include pineapple chunks, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, mandarin orange slices, kiwis and seedless grapes. Some people add bananas but I would recommend waiting until the last minute to add these slices to the display to prevent browning, or ripening.
While you are working on the watermelon, be sure to refrigerate all of your fruit until time for assembly into the fruit display. Below is a quick syrup that you can make to coat your fruit and keep everything looking and tasting wonderful.
Natural Syrup Recipe for Watermelon Fruit
You will need a small saucepan, one-quarter cup of white granulated sugar, one-half cup of water and two tablespoons of fresh grated lemon zest.
Place the saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat, bringing the water and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, all of the sugar should be dissolved.
Remove the saucepan from heat and continue to stir until you cannot see any of the sugar granules.
Add the fresh lemon zest and set the mixture aside to cool.
Place all of your fruit bites in a large mixing bowl and pour this syrup over, tossing the fruit around to completely coat every bite. For best results, keep the bowl of fruit and the carved watermelon in the refrigerator until time to fill and serve your watermelon pig display.