Perhaps the most popular of the summer fruits, watermelon makes a delicious addition to a variety of dishes, from salads to desserts, not to mention chilled drinks. And thanks to its extensive health benefits, watermelon is not only a tasty choice, but a nutritious one as well.
Watermelon is 90 percent water.
August 3 is National Watermelon Day!
What to look for
A large, heavy fruit with a thick, unevenly striped green skin and bright pink flesh, watermelon has a flavour that is hugely popular. Some varieties are oval shaped, while others are round, and watermelons may be seedless or have small black seeds throughout.
Where do they grow?
Watermelons can be cultivated in gardens in Bermuda during the summer months, with the fruits becoming ripe usually in August, or between 70 and 90 days after germination. It is advisable to wait until the soil temperature has reached at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting the seeds, and the fruits, once they begin to grow, should be covered to help keep pests away, particularly rats.
How to store
Watermelons do not become sweeter after being picked, so be sure to harvest them at the correct time. A ripe melon sounds hollow when tapped and will show some contrast between the stripes on the skin. The fruit may be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days before cutting, or for four days covered in the refrigerator after cutting.
How to prepare
The fruit may be cut to the desired size and shape and added to summer salads or it can be blended to make popsicles, smoothies and any number of mixed drinks.
A wide range of sweet, sour and herbal flavours pair well with that of watermelon. Favourites include fresh mint or basil, cheeses such as feta and goat’s cheese, citrus fruits, such as lime, and honey. Watermelon also pairs well with various liquors, such as rum and tequila, making it an ideal choice for summer cocktails as well.