Today’s question is posted in the spirit of our ongoing Watermelon Carving Contest.
Check out the kick-off entry for details about how to win the $500 grand prize.
SHIM ASKS: I was wondering how I should store a carved watermelon. I am planning to make either the turtle, shark or sailboat carving seen on your website for a party on Sunday morning. Should it be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature once carved? Should I wrap it, or can I leave it open? Most importantly, how many days before the event can I carve it? Thanks!
All good questions, Shim. Speaking from experience (and the experience of others), your carving should be created as close to the event as possible. If you can carve it on the day of the event, that would be best, but the day before should be fine, too. You definitely don’t want to carve it three or four days beforehand. I’ve seen some beautiful watermelon carvings (including several of my own) after three or four days, and they definitely didn’t look as pretty as they had.
After you create your carving, the refrigerator is the best place to store it. I asked our resident carving expert, Chef Joe, about storage and he said moisture is the key to keeping an edible carving looking fresh. Chef Joe keeps his carvings wrapped in damp paper towels while storing them in the fridge, and he suggested you do the same.
Hope this helps! Have fun with your carving, and don’t forget to send me a few pictures!