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It’s nature’s summer thirst quencher! Sweet watermelon is a fabulous treat on its own or in light and lively recipes. We have all the tips!

The Watermelon Story

Experience sweet, succulent watermelons the local way! Watermelons are pure summer pleasure. The fruit gets its name because it contains 92-95% water. Bursting with freshness, it’s nature’s gift to beat summer thirst.

For over 5,000 years, people in the Mediterranean region have eaten watermelon. Its refreshing qualities were particularly appreciated during times of drought and where drinking water was scarce or polluted. Known to Greeks and Romans dating back to antiquity, the watermelon was introduced to the Americas by the Spaniards much later. Huron Indians cultivated it in eastern Canada during the 16th century. Many varieties have come into existence since that time, with fruit ranging in colour from creamy white to bright red, bright or pale yellow, bright orange or salmon pink.

Here in Canada, many of our fondest summer memories involve nibbling on a piece of watermelon. We remember enjoying juicy watermelon snacks as children, cooling off on scorching days spent around the pool or at the beach. To revisit those refreshing, sun-filled moments, make small watermelon balls and freeze them for a refreshing snack. Or toss the frozen balls, just like ice cubes, into a glass of homemade fresh fruit juice!

Watermelon is available from July to September.

Choosing, Storing and Preparing Watermelon

To select a watermelon, choose a firm, heavy fruit with smooth unblemished skin. Its juicy red flesh should not have any white streaks. Tap the melon lightly with the palm of your hand: a muffled sound will indicate that it is full of water and ready to eat. Never press down on the extremities of the fruit to check ripeness; all this does is damage the fruit.

When preparing a melon, remove the seeds only from the part to be eaten. The unused part will stay fresher and juicier.

To peel, first chop off the ends. Stand the melon on one of the ends, and using a sharp chef's knife, slice downwards, following the line between the rind and the inner flesh. Make sure to follow the rounded contour of the fruit. Turn the melon and remove the next strip. Repeat until the melon is fully peeled.

To store, watermelon can be kept at 13 to 16° C (55 to 61º F) for approximately two weeks. Once the melon has been sliced, it should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

How to Use Watermelon

Watermelon is a refreshing snack and a tasty addition to meals. Here are some ways to eat more this summer:

Superb smoothies

Blend watermelon with ice, mint and vanilla yogurt for a creamy smoothie

Amazing appetizers

Thread watermelon balls on skewers, alternating with mozzarella balls and fresh basil

Summery salads

Toss thin slices of watermelon and cucumbers with chopped fresh mint and vegetable oil for a light salad to complement grilled burgers.

Creative ways to serve watermelon

  • Diced with cucumbers, red onions, jalapeño peppers and balsamic vinegar for watermelon salsa, a great topper for grilled rainbow trout
  • Sliced into bite-sized pieces and threaded on skewers with a small slice of prosciutto and a drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • Pureed and frozen into tasty ice cubes
  • Halved and seeded and used as a colourful salad bowl
  • Cut it - into chunks and thread on skewers with eggplant, onion and peppers. Grill under tender to make vegetable kabobs.
  • Grilled for 30 seconds before serving with feta or fresh halibut

Fresh Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon is perfect in drinks, as a starter, a topping or a dessert. Try these refreshing recipes!

Fun facts

Did you know that you can use pureed watermelon to make refreshing ice cubes for drinks? When entertaining, watermelons make great serving bowels for fresh cut fruit.