Once you know how to handle watermelon the fun can begin! Watermelon is as versatile as it is delicious, as well as craved by your customers. Watermelon Flavor Dynamics can help watermelon shine on any menu, food or beverage. Don’t forget that the whole product is edible and it is available year-round. Lastly, be inspired by your peers from restaurants across the country as well as the Culinary Institute of America. There is a watermelon dish for every restaurant and every customer!
Watermelon Flavor Dynamics
The flavor, texture and color of watermelon pairs well with so many flavors. Use these pairing recommendations, as well as cooking techniques, for recipe ideation inspiration.
What Watermelon Research Says
The top savory ingredients paired with watermelon on appetizer, entrée and salad menus from our MenuTrends Research are:
For more information or to request the full report, please email [email protected].
Watermelon Beverages Grow on Menus
According to 2021 Datassentials MenuTrend Research, watermelon is featured on over 4% of non-alcoholic beverage menus and grew 39%, 2016-2020. Watermelon, with 7.6% penetration, grew 16% in 2020 on smoothie menus. More than one in ten restaurants serving alcoholic beverages feature a drink with watermelon, having grown by 15% from 2016-2020, in all segments except fine dining.
Check out Tony Pererya of Spirits in Motion demo the Spicy Watermelon Agua Fresca below, or find more recipes by Tony here!
Think Outside the Peel
Watermelon is 100% usable so instead of throwing away or composting, consider using the rind in a variety of menu applications. Sprouted watermelon seeds are also growing in popularity and can be added to salads for crunch as well as other applications.
- Watermelon Rind Pickles, use them in recipes such as Watermelon Lamb Sliders and Watermelon Pudding
- Watermelon Slaw
- Watermelon Rind Stir Fry
- Watermelon Rind Kimchi
- Watermelon Protein Bites
Watermelon carvings are a great way to use the whole product and engage customers especially during events or on buffets.
These partners offer their own innovative menu opportunities with watermelon. Be inspired by their creativity!
Culinary Institute of America
The CIA is the world’s premier culinary college teaching the chefs of tomorrow but also inspiring current chefs. Be inspired by all the CIA watermelon recipes at ciaprochef.com/watermelon. We even feature some right here at watermelon.org.
Chef’s Roll partnered with the Board and a couple of their favorite chefs to experiment with innovative uses of watermelon flavor and preparation techniques in culinary applications. Here you can see how to cut watermelon and procure different formats including the rind. Next check out innovative dishes utilizing these watermelon formats. Check out these videos at https://chefsroll.com/features/featured-ingredients/watermelon/.
Plan a Watermelon Promotion
Global sourcing provides watermelon’s beautiful color, delicious crunch, sweet fruity flavor and broad consumer appeal throughout the year. Here are some recipes, techniques, cutting tips and usage ideas that will help keep food and beverage menus fresh with watermelon, year-round.
Watermelon on the Menu
Disney’s 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Summer Solstice Menu, which will run May 22 through July 4, will feature A Whole Lotta Melon featuring feta cheesecake with watermelon curd, pickled watermelon rind, watermelon caramel, and compressed watermelon. Photo from Disney Food Blog.
Haven Kitchen located inside The Wave Hotel in Central Florida featuring Mediterranean dishes with a Floridian spin serves a Lobster and Burrata appetizer with sourdough, pickled watermelon, green goddess dressing and spiced pumpkin.
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