Experience a quintessential summer pleasure: take a big bite from a slice of watermelon, let the sweet juices drip down your chin and then spit the seeds as far as you can. Redolent with tangy sweetness, watermelon is refreshing without being filling and is surprisingly good for you. Watermelon—92 percent water, hence the name— is a good source of vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene, when it’s red (some are orange or yellow).
This sweet melon’s iconic status in American culture often overshadows its culinary potential. Watermelon, usually eaten without fuss in North America, enjoys much more varied culinary treatment in other parts of the world. Sandia, Spanish for watermelon, is a popular flavor of Aguas Frescas in Mexico, a drink made with pureed fruit, water and sugar. In China, the coating of the seeds are removed and the inner flesh of the seed is eaten. Watermelon seeds, called egusi, are cooked in salt, fermented, roasted or ground in West Africa.
Watermelon’s crispness and granular texture can stand up well in many unexpected dishes. These fresh recipe ideas will give you new perspective on a universally loved favorite.