The fruit, which can reach up to 20 kg in weight, has a characteristic streaked green skin, smooth and hard, while the internal pulp is reddish (or sometimes even yellow, orange, or even white, depending on the variety), rich in seeds.
The pulp is sugary but, with a water content of over 90%, also very refreshing and thirst-quenching, perfect for the summer period (from May-June to September) in which it reaches maturity. Not enough for you? And if I tell you that it is also rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and especially the dear old carotenoids, which will help you a lot with your tan? … Hey there?? Have you already rushed to buy one?
Watermelon is therefore one of the most popular fruits of the summer to the point that it has almost become its icon, perfect to eat on the beach (then you go to rinse it in water) or for a light and very pleasant after dinner.
The only problem? Cutting! Being a large, massive, and heavy fruit, many people find it difficult to serve it. Since the world began, watermelon has always been cut in more or less the same way: in half lengthwise, possibly again in half, and then in large slices in which to sink the whole face, filling with watermelon juice until inside the clothes. But is this really the only method? And above all, is it really the best method?
Yet there are people who know how to do wonders with a watermelon, not only cutting it to perfection to serve it but even carving it in an artistic and creative way. So what’s the catch? No tricks, actually, just a little method, practice, and dexterity. Read on and discover with me how to cut watermelon!
Cut the watermelon
Of course, sometimes in the summer, on the beach, with the scorching sun, it is pleasant to put your face in a gargantuan but super refreshing slice of nice juicy watermelon, but there are occasions when this method is, to put it mildly, impractical.
Imagine for example a dinner on a beautiful summer evening, some dressed in linen trousers, some with a nice white dress … and imagine now offering these mega slices of watermelon dripping with sweet juice , refreshing and that invariably will fill all those stains nice summer clothes.
Well, fortunately, to be honest, that is certainly not the only way to cut watermelon: with a little method and after a little practice, you will be able to cut precise and comfortable slices to take, in an easy and fast.
First of all, the first, important step to take is to choose the right watermelon for you: in July and August you can find watermelons practically on every street corner, ready to be sold, whole or in pieces … But not all of them are obviously ready to be eaten! Here are some methods to understand if the watermelon is ripe:
- Check the petiole (or the point where it was: not always, in fact, it is present), which must not be too dry: if, on the contrary, it is soft and tends to detach easily, or even appears moist and seems to start to get out of the juice, it is a sign that the fruit is ripe and sugary at the right point.
- Tap the peel with the knuckles of your fingers: if it sounds “hollow” and does not send back a thud (exactly unlike the cantaloupe!), The watermelon is ripe.
- Check that the peel has yellowish spots or, even, scratch the surface with the nail: if it is greenish underneath, buy the watermelon as well.
Tip: by now at the supermarket, you will also find watermelons already cut and peeled, very convenient for a quick snack or in any case if you know that it will be consumed within the day. If not, prefer larger, peeled pieces that will last you at least a few days.
Once you have chosen the perfect watermelon, you can take it home and, if it is closed, store it for a few days at room temperature or directly in the refrigerator, if you have enough space.
Before storing it in the fridge and, above all, before cutting it, I advise you to wash the outside, as the blade of the knife, penetrating inside, will carry with it whatever it has found on the skin along its way.
Now we come to the cut
The classic method involves cutting the watermelon in half lengthwise and then into slices, or in 4 parts lengthwise and then into wedges. At this point, you can serve the slices whole and with the peel, or cut them further and/or remove the peel. Easy enough, but impractical.
The method I prefer is really very very simple and will turn your giant 15-20 kg watermelon into wonderful and practical finger food.
The first step is the same as the classic procedure: you basically have to cut the watermelon in half.
Then equip yourself with a large knife with a long and above all sharp blade and, carefully make the first cut, dividing the watermelon in half lengthwise.
Trick: if you slide the blade along with the dark streaks on the peel, once you have made the cut the seeds inside should be visible and therefore easier to remove.
Set one half aside (you can store it in the fridge, if you want to keep it for the next few days, or simply store it temporarily elsewhere and then proceed to cut that too). Concentrate on the half you left on the work surface: place the cut part on the cutting board, leaving the peel upwards.
Carefully cut the watermelon into slices about a couple of cm wide. So far so easy, right? At this point comes the most delicate part.
Turn the cutting board 90 °, so as to find the cut slices parallel to the edge of the cutting board closest to you, then, trying to keep the slices straight and joined together, slice again, perpendicular to the slices already cut, obtaining so of cubes, or rather of parallelepipeds.
See how easy it is? Now you can keep your perfectly cut watermelon in the refrigerator and then serve it as it is so that everyone can freely extract their watermelon “stick”, handling it easily and without problems.
Or even simply keep it in the fridge and steal a cube every time you pass through the kitchen: your watermelon, with all the pieces, close together, will keep well and without drying out and you can refresh yourself whenever you feel like it with a juicy piece of thirst quencher. watermelon!
Tip: even if you find yourself in difficulty, next time buy a baby watermelon, which with its small size will make the task much easier! (Although, of course, it costs proportionally higher.)