The Best of Summer
by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence
You’ve seen those people at the market, or the grocery store: thumping, knocking and sniffing, engaged in that mysterious art of choosing the best watermelon. After all, that juicy, fragrant red slice is the embodiment of summer. It evokes picnics, boat rides, fairs and most of all – that golden sun on our face and the trickle of sweet, sticky watermelon juice on our face.
One of my strongest childhood memories from Israel is the horse-drawn cart, laden with deep green watermelons, driven by an old man, yelling at the top of his lungs: “Watermelon! Fresh Watermelon – On the blade!” He practiced a foolproof marketing plan: he chose a watermelon for you, cut a square with his sharp blade, stuck the blade in the center of that square and – voila!! He pulled out a perfect pyramid of ruby watermelon, its aroma grassy and sugary. One bite and you were hooked, devouring the slice as you lugged the heavy bowling ball home. From him, I learned the thumping, sniffing method of picking the best watermelon.
The other, rich fountain is wisdom is obviously – the Internet. There I found the clever acronym PUCK by Brit, who goes by All Seeing Eyebrows on Reddit. It is simple, precise and to the point!
P - Pick it up. Find the heaviest, most dense fruit; the one most full of water is the ripest
U - Uniformity. No bruises, dents, or lumps.
C - Color. The "field spot," where the watermelon sat on the ground, should be yellowish instead of white-ish.
K - Knock. The more hollow the sound, the riper the melon.
So, now that you have it – what should you do with it? First – store it in the fridge to keep it from ripening too fast and to make sure it stays crisp. Eat it freshly cut as a snack or dessert, but don’t stop there! Use it in salads, drinks, cocktails, ices and more. A great resource, like I mentioned before – is the Internet – let your fingers do the walking and you’ll be amazed at the creativity you can uncover!