Of all the Fun Food posts we’ve written in the past 18 months, the story with the most enduring popularity continues to be the one about watermelon carving. Why watermelon carving? Perhaps, as we said last year, it’s because watermelon is such a fun, carve-able fruit. There’s something about that blank canvas that just cries out for creativity.
To get you started, the National Watermelon Promotion Board has some great carving tips and ideas (love that shark jumping out of the table baring its big white teeth!) to get your creative juices flowing. Hint: You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional watermelon-shaped objects. There’s a fish in there, and a robot, and even a snowman.
For this year’s watermelon carving issue, we’re featuring this cool party creation, courtesy of Chef Joe of Friday Night Out Catering in Berwyn, PA. This pirate ship is rigged together with a complex arrangement of dowels and string. The crow’s nest is made from a carved yellow squash.
As a companion to the main ship, he made two little fishing boats. The hull of the boats are from hollowed-out cucumbers; the sails are from watermelon rind with the white part removed so they are just a thin layer of green skin. He completes the picture with ornately carved carrots for the fishing nets.
If you’re not feeling architecturally inclined, but you have mad carving skills, don’t forget that you can still dress up your watermelon with some engraved artwork. Chef Joe used carving techniques to etch out this watermelon Mona Lisa. To do this delicate carving work, use a channel knife, which is often found at the top of a vegetable peeler. And even if your art is not quite up to snuff, you can still carve out words or messages in your watermelon (see the Watermelon Board’s page for this creation with the word “Celebrate” written on the side).
Inspired? Ready for a party? Time to pull out the knives and the melon ballers and get creative!
Summer fun food: Because food should be fun.
Questions about how to make the pirate ship or the Mona Lisa? You can reach Chef Joe at fnocatering [at] comcast.net