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Nothing says summer more than our chopped chilled watermelon

The summer heatwave continues to wash over the country and finding salvation from the heat is a must. There’s nothing better than tucking into some of our cold watermelon to get some instant relief.

Watermelon is quintessentially summer on a plate and beloved by Kiwis both young and old. Not only do they taste good, but they’re also a healthy antioxidant, packed full of vitamin A.

Our CEO Richard Burke says that the exceptional hot weather in Gisborne has meant that our team have harvested the watermelon patch a week early.

“Our watermelons hit the stores last week and the warmer weather means that our melons are particularly sweet and juicy this year,” he says.

While on the hunt for the perfect watermelon this summer here’s some insider tips on what to look out for regarding the weight, the sound and the colour of the melon.

“Watermelons are about 90 per cent water, so picking a heavier one means it should be nice and juicy.  You also want to pick one that sounds like a drum when you tap it. Ideally you want to hear a thud sound. Another great tip is the colour of the skin. Look for a melon that has a golden yellow spot where the watermelon has sat on the field,” he says. 

“Before serving the melon it’s best to keep them at room temperature. The skin is the perfect packaging but give it a good clean before cutting. You don’t want to transfer any dirt from the outside of the skin into the inside when cutting the melon.

“Cut watermelon generally lasts about three to five days in the fridge, but it’s such a crowd pleaser, it never seems to last that long in my house,” he says.

Watermelon can also be frozen for smoothies, made into a sorbet and surprisingly makes a good ingredient for some cakes.

“I personally think that watermelon tastes best on its own or served icy cold as a dessert but it also makes a good salad ingredient or a delicious drink. It is particularly good mixed with mint. There is also a very good salad of ham, watermelon and basil, for anyone still trying to find new ways to get rid of the Christmas leftover ham!” he says.

This year we are growing two varieties of watermelons, a micro-seeded and a jubilee melon, all available from your local supermarket throughout New Zealand from now.

Tags: watermelon