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A F O O DS ERVI CE

guide

Watermelon REFRESH YOUR MENU WITH THE BRIGHT TASTE AND COLORS OF THE GLOBALLY REVERED FRUIT

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

A WO RL D O F OPPO RT U N IT IE S W I T H

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Why watermelon Bright colors and flavors. Naturally sweet and nutritious. And, oh-so-fresh and versatile. Today’s watermelon is as comfortable at a picnic as it is at an upscale bar or restaurant. And, it is carving a place for itself in global cuisine. The fruit, whose seeds have been traced back to the ancient tombs of pharaohs and thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, delivers a hint of exotic aroma, a punch of color and flavor, and a healthful dose of nutrition to the inspired menu.

Innovative chefs across the country are pioneering a whole new world of watermelon. We’ll show you inspiration and techniques to maximize your use of this visually appealing ingredient that will help set your menu apart.

A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

Its sweet, juicy flesh adds natural sweetness to aguas frescas, delicate texture to gazpachos, and a watercolor of hues – from deep red and pink to orange, yellow and even white – to almost any menu creation, including beverages.

The solid, striped or speckled rinds create an opportunity for innovation whether beautifully carved into serving vessels or pickled and preserved in Southern tradition.

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WATER M ELO N SA NGRIA COURTESY NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S

WATERMELON R I N D P I CK L ES


V

ER

SA

WHY ADV E N T U R O U S C H E F S A RE

TI

LI

n g o l n i e t a m r e t a Elev W menu HE ON T

SWEET It's what guests want, and watermelon hits a sweet spot with all ages and genders.

ALWAYS IN S EAS O N H Y DR AT I N G

Imports provide unique varieties from the southern hemisphere January through April.

At 92% water, watermelon delivers needed fluids and nutrients.

CO MPLE M E N TA RY Its natural sugar is a match for salty, savory, bitter, spicy and umami. A grilled wedge glazed with soy and fish sauce, sriracha and agave is umami-tastic.

C O LOR FUL

Pickled, purĂŠed, cubed, grilled or vacuum-sealed, watermelon is ripe for innovation.

G LO B A L From aguas frescas, to gazpachos to Asian salads, watermelon drips with international flair.

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

ADA P TABLE

From deep reds and pink, to oranges, yellows and white, watermelon flesh adds a sunset of hues to your menu year-round.

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TY


VARIETIES AND YEAR-ROUND AVAILABILITY More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America, where complementary growing seasons provide a year-round supply of watermelon in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. Because there are so many varieties, they often are grouped according to characteristics, like fruit shape, rind color or pattern, and size.

Know Your

Watermelon The classic watermelon comes in a wide range of sizes. Ask your supplier for available options.

Due to high demand, the majority of watermelon cultivars grown today are seedless – and they are getting redder and crisper thanks to seed breeding advancements. They are not the result of genetic engineering, but rather hybridization - the crossing of two different types of watermelons.

15-45 lb, round, long, oblong

10-25 lb, round to oblong

A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

S EED ED

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S E E DL E S S

MI NI

Y E L LOW / OR A N G E

Petite “personal watermelons” are easy to handle and their thinner rinds can mean more flesh per pound. Hollow them out for a compostable serving bowl.

Generally sweeter than red-fleshed watermelon, yellow and orange varieties add a surprising element to the plate, or glass.

1-7 lb, round

10-30 lb, round


THE FU T U R E O F WATERMELON

I S BR IG HT C RIS P ER, C RUNC H IER FLES H

While watermelon is still harvested and packed by hand, look for INNOVATIONS in the following areas:

D E E PE R CO LO R, DENSI T Y, F L AVO R

E N H A N C ED N U TR I TI ON

I N CRE AS E D U N I F O RM I T Y

LO N G E R S HE LF LI F E

KNOW YOUR

grower

KE L LY A ND A A R O N T YNE R FA MILY WATER M ELO N A ND CA NTA LO UPE GROW E R/ S HIPPE RS H O O S I ER F R ESH FA RMS , INDIA NA

Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour and learn about innovations in the world of watermelon, from seed breeding to strict growing practices that ensure the highest quality produce. Your feedback is critical in ensuring growers and suppliers continue to meet consumers’ evolving needs.

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

Family farmers and growers of watermelon love to show off their fields and facilities to chefs.

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JA N UA RY

WAT E R M E LO N

Peak

PEAK:

Costa Rica Dominican Republic

HIGH:

Honduras Mexico

LOW:

Guatemala

A P RIL

A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

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LOW:

Costa Rica Honduras Mexico Panama

MAY California (Southern) Florida Texas Mexico

HIGH:

Costa Rica Dominican Republic Nicaragua

HIGH:

California (Imperial Valley)

LOW:

Arizona Georgia Costa Rica Guatemala Honduras Panama

Florida Texas

J U LY PEAK:

HIGH:

LOW:

AUG UST

Arkansas California (Central) Missouri North Carolina Oklahoma

PEAK:

Arizona California (Southern) Delaware Georgia Indiana Maryland South Carolina Texas Washington

HIGH:

California (Central) Missouri North Carolina Oklahoma Texas

LOW:

Arizona Arkansas California (Southern) Georgia Mexico

California (Imperial Valley) Florida Virginia Mexico

OCTOBER

PEAK:

Nicaragua Panama

HIGH:

Costa Rica Dominican Republic Guatemala Honduras Mexico

J UNE

PEAK:

LOW:

MARCH

Dominican Republic Guatemala

Guatemala Honduras Mexico Panama

MONTH

Watermelon is grown in warm places, from Florida to Guatemala, making it available throughout the year.

HIGH:

PEAK:

P RO DU C T I ON ARE AS BY

FE B RUARY

Delaware Indiana Maryland Virginia Washington

NOVEMBER

HIGH:

Mexico

PEAK:

Brazil

LOW:

Arizona California (Central) Florida Oklahoma Texas

HIGH:

Mexico

LOW:

Arizona Costa Rica Guatemala

PEAK:

Arizona California (Imperial Valley) Georgia South Carolina Texas

HIGH:

California (Central) California (Southern) Florida

LOW:

Missouri North Carolina Honduras Mexico

SEPTEMBER HIGH:

California (Central) Oklahoma Texas

LOW:

Arizona California (Southern) Delaware Florida Indiana Maryland Missouri North Carolina Virginia Washington Mexico

DECEMBER HIGH:

Brazil Dominican Republic Guatemala Mexico Nicaragua

LOW:

Honduras Panama


Facts

CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION have been

recorded in Egypt 5000 BC, and China in the 10th century. Japan’s modern day fascination with the “cubic” watermelon fetches premium prices.

A member of the cucurbitaceae family, watermelon is a V INE-L IK E SC RA MBLER A ND TRA IL E R . Its fruit is referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry with a thick rind and a juicy, sweet interior flesh.

are edible, and sometimes used as a vegetable. In China, they are stir-fried, stewed, or more often pickled.

WATERMELON RINDS

GRILLE D T HA I C HIC KE N W IT H WAT E RME LO N RIND C HUT NE Y

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

The ORIGINS OF WATERMELON have been traced back to the deserts of southern Africa, where it still grows wild today. This ancestor of the modern watermelon is a tough, drought tolerant plant prized for its ability to store water for tribes crossing the Kalahari.

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R EC E I V I N G , STOR AG E A ND H A N D LIN G Follow these tips to optimize the safety, quality and shelf life of your fresh watermelon: Keep CUT WATERMELON refrigerated and covered at all times. Use cut fruit within 3-4 days, or follow the advice of your supplier.

WATERMELONS SHOULD BE FIRM, symmetrical and

free of bruises or cuts. Pitted rind, off flavor or loss of color is an indication of chill injury. You should see a CREAMY YELLOW SPOT on one side where the watermelon sat on the ground, ripening in the sun.

DO NOT STORE watermelon

near ethylene producing produce such as bananas, apples, stone fruit, pears, avocados and tomatoes.

water, contributing to most of its weight and juiciness.

OVERRIPE WATERMELON?

Don’t toss. Instead, retain the value and nutrition by juicing or pureeing.

OPTIMUM STORAGE TEMPERATURES for whole

watermelon range from 4860° F, 90% humidity. Shelf life ranges from 7-10 days.

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Sometimes growing conditions will cause an internal cracking of the flesh, known as Hollow Heart. These watermelons are perfectly safe to eat, and they often are sweeter as sugars are more concentrated along the cracks.

Always thoroughly PREWASH watermelon before cutting and serving.

WATERMELONS SHOULD BE HEAVY FOR THEIR SIZE. Watermelon is 92%

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A NOTE ON HOLLOW HEART:

How to CUBE A WATERMELON

1.

Wash and pat dry the watermelon

2.

Slice off ends and then quarter, cutting lengthwise along the seed line with a knife

3.

Lift the flesh from the rind. If desired, scrape seeds from removed piece with a fork.


Important

NUMBERS

BE LOW ARE S O M E G U I DE LI N E S ON M E AS U RE M E N TS AN D Y I E LD :

W E DG E S :

A 20-lb watermelon yields about 90 6-ounce wedges, each ¾-inch thick

C U P S:

1 lb of watermelon = about 1½- to 2-cup servings

Y I E L D: 100% whole watermelon = 70% flesh + 30% rind. An average seedless watermelon, yields about 11 cups of cubes (approximately 69% useable product yield) and about 6 cups juice (39% product yield)

Many produce distributors provide additional purchasing size options for their customers. Watermelon often is sold in foodservice by “the each” or in cases ranging from two, four or five count, depending on the size of the watermelon.

available from some suppliers include spears, wedges, cubes, balls, halves and juice.

4.

Halve each quarter and cut into desired–sized cubes

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

PRE-CUT SELECTIONS

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If you are looking to enhance your focus on nutrition, watermelon is naturally sweet, rich in nutrients and hydrating. In fact, at 92% water, watermelon is an E XCE LLE N T CHO I CE F O R STAY I N G HYD RAT E D – and a favorite among Americans.

WATERMELON IS A

Natural Hydrator TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS

A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

say that of all produce, watermelon is the one they would choose to eat to help them hydrate.*

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Watermelon is

92% WATER ,

66%

and a whole lot more *This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the National Watermelon Promotion Board from May 12-14, 2014 among 2,050 adults ages 18 and older.


NUTRITION

+

Watermelon contains higher levels of the antioxidant LYCO P E N E than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a naturally occurring red pigment that gives red watermelon and tomatoes their color. It is thought to act as a powerful antioxidant, helping protect cells from oxygen-related damage that can result from regular cell functions.

+ Watermelon is an excellent source of an important amino acid,

WATER MELON IS A GOOD S OUR C E OF vitamin C,

thiamine (vitamin B1), Vitamin B6 and a source of vitamin A.

The human body uses citrulline to make another important amino acid – arginine – which plays a key role in cell division, wound healing and the removal of ammonia. Watermelon’s citrulline stores are not only abundant but also readily usable by the body.

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citrulline.

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Finding the sweet spot in fresh

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CHEF JEFF TEN NER

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NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S, NEW ENGLAND APPLICAT IO N S:

gazpacho, sangria

Chef Tenner says as a small chain, Not Your Average Joe’s can hyper-focus on its cornerstones: fresh ingredients and scratch cooking. That’s great news for watermelon, which makes perennial appearances on the growing restaurant company’s menu – typically in the form of a summertime gazpacho and a sangria. Tenner says the company aims to be on the leading edge with ingredients, relying on guest feedback, trend data and trial and error to refine its menu. “What’s interesting about watermelon is it appeals to different age groups, and to both men and women,” he says. “It doesn’t have some of the barriers that other produce might have with age and gender.” Besides guest appeal, he says watermelon is approachable in the kitchen. “Training is simple because the fruit is common and familiar to most,” he says. “Watermelon is locked and loaded. The real work happened out in the field.”


Grilled Watermelon W ED GE SALAD

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE®

Flash-grilled fresh seedless watermelon brushed with honey and chilled. With romaine, kale, quinoa and goat cheese tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and finished with a balsamic drizzle.

WAT E RM E LO N

Hunch Punch OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE®

Made with Ole Smoky® Blackberry Moonshine™ and fresh watermelon mixed with icecold lemonade and topped with a juicy wedge of watermelon.

Watermelon Salad TRADING POST, NEW YORK CITY

Made with watermelon and tomatoes with aged feta, mint and balsamic

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

HEIR LO O M TO MATO

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WAT E RM E LO N

Champagne Sangria

A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

Chopped seedless watermelon, tossed with oranges, bananas and grapes and finished with chilled dry champagne of choice.

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HI G H VALU E

Watermelon Displays Fresh watermelon comes to life when served in its natural vessel – 1 0 0% C OM POSTAB L E and crowd pleasing.

x

L EARN HOW TO MAK E THESE CARVI N GS AT YOUTUBE.COM/WATERMELO N B OAR D


COURTESY STATION CASINOS

Playing with color

RED ROCK RESORT, LAS VEGAS A PPLICAT IO N :

compressed watermelon, updated fruit display

Chef Garcia uses watermelon year-round, sourcing from preferred vendors and sometimes even flying to a farmers market to purchase fruit directly for special events. As executive chef of catering at Red Rock Resort, he has modernized the traditional fruit display. Instead of traditional mixed fruit, he creates bouquets of individual fruits. “Guests love the sweeping collages of color, including reds, greens and purples. When a specific fruit gets low, we can easily replace just that item. It makes sense from a labor and cost standpoint.” Garcia’s eye for color explains his passion for compressed watermelon. He has embraced vacuum-sealing, a technique that removes air from the watermelon, thereby deeply concentrating and intensifying its juices, color and flavor. “The end product is a dense ruby red,” he says. “You lose volume, but not water, so the watermelon is even juicier.”

W AT E R M E L O N . O R G

CHEF CHRIS GARCIA

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A W O R L D O F O P P O R T U N I T I E S W I T H W AT E R M E L O N

NATIONAL WATERMELON PROMOTION BOARD (NWPB) is based

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in Winter Springs, Florida, and represents 1,500 growers, shippers and importers. Through research, communications and marketing initiatives, NWPB is finding new ways to enhance market opportunities for farmers and promote the nutritional, culinary and convenience benefits of watermelon.

For further information on watermelon and NWPB, please visit W W W.WAT E R ME LO N .O R G

E M A IL :

info@watermelon.org

PH ON E :

407-657-0261

S O C I AL:

Watermelon Board

f l xi p

Watermelon Foodservice Guide  

This guide provides the facts about selecting, handling and using watermelon in foodservice, served with a slice of menu inspiration.

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