I had bought a seedless watermelon because I thought it would be easier to use for recipes but I realized it's just not as much fun to eat plain watermelon without the seeds.
I remembered, as a kid, having seed spitting contests and also spitting plenty at my sister and cousins. Childhood just wouldn't be the same without watermelon, its seeds and the Fourth of July.
And what about swallowing the seeds? Do they really grow in your stomach? That is true, isn't it?
According to the National Watermelon Board, seedless watermelons were invented more than 50 years ago. Genetic testing of male and female watermelons and crossbreeding of various hybrids created a seedless variety.
When referring to seeds they mean the black ones. The white seeds are not actually considered a seed. They are the seed coats where a seed did not form. They are edible and perfectly safe to eat.
With or without seeds, everyone has a preference, but did you know the average watermelon has 350 seeds?
I got to thinking about all the different ways to enjoy watermelon and felt challenged to come up with as many ways to eat it as there are seeds in the melon. So here is my best attempt.
Cut it into balls, wedges, triangles, circles, diamonds or squares.
Serve it in a tossed salad, green salad, Caesar salad, cucumber salad, Jell-O salad or fruit salad.
Blend it, strain it and make watermelon ice cubes, popsicles, ice cream, flavored water, smoothies, lemonade, granita, sherbert, gelato, slush, mojito, margaritas, club soda, rum, vodka, wine or champagne.
Skewer it with other fruit, shrimp or scallops and grill. Dry it off and dip it in melted white or dark chocolate.
Horizontally cut off the top fourth of a watermelon; slowly pour in wine, vodka, tequila, champagne or rum for a spiked watermelon. Chill for a couple of hours and spoon into glasses.
Try watermelon wine from Sweet Dreams Winery outside Palestine. They have created an acclaimed watermelon wine. Owner, Mike Pell has spent years perfecting the fermentation process and making sure the wine tastes like crisp, clean watermelon and not rotted melon.
Pair it with cantaloupe, honeydew, jicama, cucumber, spinach salad, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, tomatoes, goat cheese, blue cheese, feta, haloumi, parmesan, basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, dill or sweet onions slivers.
Carve it into a bowl, flower, basket, vase, face, or just like you would a pumpkin. Cut into eight inch rounds as thick as a cake and top with cream and berries for a watermelon cake.
Make cupcakes, ice cream molds or popsicles that look like watermelons.
Top it with balsamic vinegar, feta crumbles, blue cheese, sour cream, ice cream, whipped cream, crème fraiche or something simple, like lemon juice, lime juice, sugar or salt.
Dice it and put it into a fruit salsa, fish taco, pico de gallo, ceviche, relish or a sauce for grilled chicken.
Hollow out a large chunk and fill it with chicken salad, pasta salad, crab salad, chicken and rice, tuna fish, or cole slaw
With the rind, you can pickle it, preserve it, and use it later in relishes, sauces and salads.
Am I getting close? That's around 125 ways. For now, that's probably enough. We need to get on with our Fourth of July and I hope that however you celebrate it involves eating watermelon.
After all, eating a big wedge, spitting the seeds on the ground and letting it drip down your arms and chin counts endlessly towards the remaining 225 ways.
What is your favorite way to enjoy watermelon? Join the conversation on Facebook at Christine Gardner Tyler Paper Food.
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