November 25th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy


Photo courtesy of Center for WorkLike

It’s finally here – one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, I know that it’s tomorrow, but I will be very busy over the next 24 to 48 hours preparing for the arrival of six crazy kids and eight (maybe nine) equally crazy adults.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It’s a time that brings everyone together to be thankful for all we have.

This year, I’m especially thankful for three things: family, friends and having a career that I love (who wouldn’t love to write about watermelon?). I also love this holiday because it involves lots and lots of food, and no one loves food more than I do.

Leave a comment below with what you’re thankful for this year. While you’re thinking, check out these fun facts about Thanksgiving!

The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 1.3 billion pounds of the popular side dish vegetable in 2013.

In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Foundation, nearly 88% of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And remember…there’s no such thing as “too much whipped cream” on your pumpkin pie.


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November 23rd, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy


Photo courtesy of News Dog Media

Just when I thought there was a museum for everything – a ramen noodle museum in Japan and the International Banana Museum in California – I discover yet another unusual ode to something that you probably didn’t think needed an entire building dedicated to it.

Except watermelon. Watermelon deserves its own museum…and now it has one.

If you’re in Beijing and have a few hours to kill, you could learn more about watermelon than you ever thought possible at the China Watermelon Museum. Visitors from all over the globe can come to this watermelon-shaped attraction, which houses over 43,000 square feet of exhibits, showcasing the journey from the origins of the watermelon, from its birthplace in southern Africa to its ascent into space.

The museum features realistic wax models of the many different kinds of watermelons, antique paintings and artwork and more historical artifacts than you can spit a seed at. (Though I’m pretty sure they frown upon spitting seeds at the artifacts.)


Photo courtesy of News Dog Media


Photo courtesy of News Dog Media

If you’re like me and wondering why Beijing is a likely location for this museum, it’s because the area just south of Beijing city is one of the largest watermelon-producing regions in the world.

Touring the museum will take you about two hours, or more, if you need a translator. Outside in the grounds, various sculptures of people eating watermelon greet visitors as they pass.

If I ever needed another reason to visit China, this would be it. It would be a dream to see the entire history of watermelon under one roof. I would have to remember that the watermelons are not real, and to eat before going to the museum, as I have a feeling it would make me very, very hungry.


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November 20th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

Eleven months into 2015 and I’m still chugging away at my New Year’s resolution of creating more dishes with watermelon! Being only one month away from completing my goal has me thinking about next year’s goal. If you have any ideas, leave a comment below.

It’s been quite a year of fresh, new watermelon-inspired recipes, but the last two will be geared toward the holidays. With just six days left until Thanksgiving, everything has finally come together at my house in terms of planning, prepping and priming.

This year, my wife committed to preparing at least three dishes with watermelon for our Thanksgiving dinner, including this one for watermelon cranberry sauce. (I whipped it up yesterday to test out the recipe before the big day.) Make this to accompany your turkey, or just grab a spoon and dig in!



4 cups fresh cranberries

½ cup organic sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 lemon (juice squeezed from the lemon)

1 lemon (zest from the lemon)

½ cup maple syrup

dash cinnamon

2 cups minced watermelon


Heat cranberries, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest in a 3-quart saucepan over medium low heat until it simmers. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the maple syrup and cinnamon to the pan. Simmer another few minutes. Remove from heat to rest for 10 minutes. Stir in watermelon and serve warm or chill and serve cold.

For a video showing step-by-step instructions from the National Watermelon Promotion Board, click here.



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November 17th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy


Photo courtesy of Christie Images LTD 2015

The still life you see above was painted by Italian artist Giovanni Stanchi sometime between 1645 and 1672. It features a variety of fruits, including peaches, plums and pears, but take note of the odd-looking specimen in the bottom right. Yep, that’s a watermelon. Or at least what a watermelon looked like 350 years ago.

So how did the watermelon go from something that resembled a giant pomegranate to the succulent, red, juicy fruit we know and love today? The answer lies in breeding.

Paintings like Stanchi’s are fascinating because they provide a glimpse not only of the styles and attitudes of life centuries ago, but they also allow us to see how other things — like the watermelon — have changed so dramatically over the years.

That change, as I mentioned, is due to centuries of careful breeding (which occurs in everything from fruits and vegetables to dogs and cats), designed to accentuate the best qualities of a particular item and minimize the not-so-good ones.

Although the watermelon certainly looked quite different in the 17th century, the taste probably wasn’t far off from its modern day variety. It was likely sweet, and the white part you see in the image above was, indeed, edible. The red part of a watermelon, which holds the seeds, is actually the watermelon’s placenta. Over the years, growers have bred watermelons with more red flesh (which is also the part that’s loaded with lycopene), to yield melons with more red flesh, more juice and even fewer seeds.

“Museum paintings are an interesting method for studying old cultivars [varieties],” said Todd Wehner, a professor at North Carolina State University who studies watermelon breeding. “The one (in Stanchi’s painting) certainly shows the sort of watermelons that Europeans had to eat in the Middle Ages during their summer harvest season.”

So what will watermelons look like three centuries from today? Honestly, probably not that different from the ones we enjoy today I like to think watermelons of the future will be available in various flavors like bacon, chocolate and bubble gum, but that dream is still 70 or 80 years away.


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November 13th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

Here we are, just a few short weeks away from Thanksgiving. With the holiday quickly approaching, the heat is on in my household (at least I hope so – it’s freezing outside) to make this the best Turkey Day ever. This is the second year that we will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house, and my wife is excited to try incorporating watermelon into three different dishes, which I will be featuring here on the blog all month long!

No matter what she cooks, I know it will be delicious and I will have approximately two to three helpings throughout the day. With a recipe like this one for Watermelon Glazed Meatballs, I can’t imagine anyone would shy away from these.


INGREDIENTS Boulder-Canyon-Canyon-Cut-Chips-Logo

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

24-36 frozen prepared mini meatballs

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce

1 cup watermelon puree*


Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat or electric skillet set on 325°. Sauté the mini meatballs until browned and hot. Reduce heat to low. Mix together the barbecue sauce and watermelon puree. Pour over the meatballs and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot.

*To make the watermelon puree, remove seeds from fresh watermelon and cut into large chunks. Place in a blender and process until smooth and well blended.


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November 9th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

Even though I’m a huge fan of summer, I still enjoy watching the transformation that occurs in autumn. Everything from the changing leaves on the trees to the crisp, cool air tells me that the dog days of summer are long gone.

There is one thing that happens in the fall that I dislike, however. It’s a terrible occurrence that takes place at nearly every grocery store nationwide around this time of year — when the watermelon bins disappear from the produce aisle. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again, and the watermelon bin is already missing from my local supermarket.

If you’re like me, and can’t stand to be without watermelon until the spring, check out this post from 2013 to find out how you can still enjoy your favorite fruit.


As it relates to food, what’s the worst day of the year? For me, it isn’t the day after Halloween (when I wake up with asugar hangover after raiding my daughter’s candy supply the night before) or the day after an all-day pig out session on Thanksgiving. It’s the day the bin of watermelons disappears from the grocery store.

The exact timing of that day varies based on your location. In my neck of the woods, it usually arrives in late September. Shortly thereafter, the space where the bin of beautiful green melons once sat becomes occupied by a bin of orange pumpkins. They’re fun to carve and their seeds are tasty, but I’ll take the bin of watermelons any day of the week.

When the bin disappears, your watermelon options are to A) raid the pre-sliced and chunked section (in my grocery store, it’s over by the bagged lettuce) or B) ask your produce manager if he’s got an uncut watermelon in the back that he’s willing to sell for whatever the current per-pound rate is.

Of course, there’s also a third option – the mini watermelon. The mini watermelon (or “personal” watermelon) is often overlooked because it hides in the produce aisle on a display amongst many other softball-sized fruits. But I’m here to tell you one important thing: Don’t overlook this pint-sized gem!

Here are some things you should know about the little green ball of goodness:

  • Mini watermelons are the fastest-growing segment of the watermelon market.
  • Mini watermelons are usually seedless and have a thinner rind, which means you get more edible flesh per pound.
  • Mini watermelons have a uniform flavor throughout the fruit.
  • Mini watermelons are easy to transport and you’re more likely to eat the entire thing, which means less waste.

So there you have it – four very good reasons to give mini watermelons a try during your next trip to the grocery store. Actually, I can think of another reason: Mini watermelons are freakin’ adorable! Seriously, every time I buy one, I almost don’t want to cut it up because it’s so darn cute. But then I do slice it up and devour it, and I remember just how good that cuteness tastes.


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November 6th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

The official start of the holiday season is just a few weeks away and planning has already begun in our household. Lately, I’ve been helping my wife prepare the house for when our family visits for Thanksgiving dinner, and that usually includes countless hours spent cleaning, dusting, fluffing and decorating.

Lucky for me, when the big day comes, my wife kicks me out of the kitchen to stall the family and make sure the kids don’t sneak into the desserts.

This Thanksgiving, my wife is going to incorporate watermelon into at least three dishes. Follow along all month long to see how we’re bringing watermelon to our Thanksgiving dinner table and get inspired by creations like this one for Watermelon Glazed Sweet Potatoes!


This is perfect if you’re looking for a way to put a new spin on a traditional recipe.


1 bottle of cooking spray

1 cup watermelon juice

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons rum extract

dash salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes


Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a low-flat baking dish (such as 11” x 8”) with cooking spray. Set aside. Bring watermelon juice to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat. Add butter and sugar and stir until melted and thoroughly blended. Add rum extract and salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Peel if desired, although not necessary. Cut into large fries, approximately 4” x 1”. Toss with watermelon glaze and pour into the baking dish. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until softened, but still firm. Toss with glaze several times during the baking process. Remove from oven. Toss again to coat potatoes with remaining glaze.


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November 3rd, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy


Image courtesy of Amazon

As my wife will attest, I am addicted to coffee. I usually have two cups before I even leave the house in the morning and several throughout the work day. You might think I’m crazy, but it’s the only way I get through the day without being incredibly zombie-fied.

Hopefully, this month’s prize will go to someone who enjoys drinking coffee or tea as much as I do! This Watermelon Coffee Mug ($20 on Amazon) will make an awesome addition to your kitchen cupboard, regardless of what you sip from it. One lucky commenter on this post will soon be sipping in style.

Speaking of winners, I’m excited to announce that Catalina is the winner of the Halloween Carving Contest. She spooked the competition with the Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired carving below and was spooky enough to take home a $25 gift card. Congratulations to Catalina and thanks to everyone who submitted their carving!



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October 30th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy


Photo courtesy of Zazzle

Happy Halloween, everyone! All of the preparation for this day – making costumes, getting candy and decorating the house – has finally paid off, and here we are on Halloween-eve! For today’s post, I was going to feature a creepy photo of trick-or-treaters from the 1930s, but I couldn’t resist using this image of a cat scaring three pumpkin people on a watermelon.

I’m not sure if the spooky black cat chased them up on the watermelon, but if so, I wouldn’t blame them. That cat looks absolutely creepy! I think the story unraveled like this: There were three pumpkin people coming home from a Halloween party. They were crossing the watermelon patch when a black cat jumped out and scared them!

To get away from the scary black cat, the trio hopped up on the biggest watermelon in the patch, and for good reason. Historically, black cats have been known as the choice pet for witches, which is why there is superstition surrounding them. However, it is considered good luck if they walk away from you, so if you see one while you are trick-or-treating, just move slowly and cautiously. Just don’t share your candy with it!

REMEMBER: All comments left on the blog this month are entered to win our October prize — the watermelon welcome mat — so comment as often as you’d like!


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October 27th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

I was outside, raking leaves in my front yard, the other day when it dawned on me that Halloween is only a week away! Although the air is brisk, and the days are shorter, I still can’t believe it’s autumn. It seems like only yesterday that I was basking in the warm summer sun, next to a tempting pool.

Who says summer has to end, anyway? I mean, the calendar may disagree, but who says we can’t pretend that it’s summer all year long? If you have a case of summer fever like I do, you should treat yourself to this Watermelon Pistachio Sundae. One bite, and it’s July all over again.



6 scoops raspberry sorbet

1 cup marshmallow sauce

1 cup pistachios

1 lightly beaten egg white

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios


To candy pistachios, preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, syrup, brown sugar and salt. Stir pistachios until evenly coated. Spread on foil-lined baking sheet, and bake 15-2o minutes, stirring once, until crisp and lightly browned. Cool. Break apart.

Arrange the watermelon in the bottoms of six sundae cups or martini glasses. Top with scoops of sorbet. Drizzle sauce over sorbet, and sprinkle candied pistachios over sundaes. Serve immediately.

REMEMBER: All comments left on the blog this month are entered to win our October prize — the watermelon welcome mat — so comment as often as you’d like!


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