The first long weekend of the summer is finally (!) upon us. I don’t know about you, but my plans include a barbecue or two, not to mention lots of time spent outdoors planting in the garden. I’ve replenished my charcoal supply, stocked the freezer with homemade popsicles and purchased my first watermelon of the season.
Speaking of watermelons, some genius person—definitely not me—came up with the idea of cutting watermelons into sticks instead of slicing them into wedges, and the result is brilliant as far as I’m concerned. They are perfect for small hands to hold and great for passing around at a party. While watermelon wedges are fine, they are a little messy to eat. This new way of cutting the fruit provides everyone with a natural handle for holding their food, making it far easier to consume.
Here’s the simple three-step process for cutting your watermelon into sticks:
- Cut watermelon in half and place one cut side down on a cutting board.
- Slice the watermelon into 2-inch thick pieces. Turn the cutting board and cut 2-inch thick pieces in the other direction, creating a grid.
- Discard the ends, which should be mostly rind leaving you with watermelon sticks.
- Repeat with remaining half, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for another time.
Finally, here are some tips to help you with your watermelon cutting and consuming:
- Larger watermelons are easiest to cut into sticks if they are divided into three sections first. Smaller, or baby sized watermelons can just be halved before being cut. Alternatively, you can cut your large watermelon on the longer side instead in order to end up with shorter sticks.
- Be sure to use a sharp knife when cutting watermelon. Watermelons have thick skin and require a sharp knife to permeate the outer layer.
- To ensure you’re choosing a juicy watermelon, pick it up and see how heavy it feels. It should seem weighty for its size, indicating there is lots of water (juice!).
- When serving watermelon sticks at a party, layer them on a platter or in a bowl with the rind facing outwards so guests can easily grab a piece.