GREENSBORO, NC – June 25, 2019 – There is a reason July kicks off National Watermelon Month, because it is peak season for this iconic summer fruit. The Fresh Market brings in over 300,000 pounds of watermelon in July alone. To celebrate, stores will offer watermelon for $2.99 on Friday, July 12th, and free watermelon samples the weekend of Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 between 12 - 4 pm.
Vic Savanello, Vice President of Produce Merchandising at The Fresh Market, slices into this season’s top watermelon trends:
Seeds are Making a Comeback
“Seedless watermelons were born out of convenience, but believe it or not, watermelon with seeds are making a comeback this summer,” said Vic. “They are actually hard to find on the market nowadays. The ones we are bringing into our stores are double the size of seedless watermelons, and I personally think have a superior texture and slightly sweeter flavor. Plus, there is the nostalgia factor. Who doesn’t remember having seed-spitting contests as a kid?”
Pass the Salt
“In the south, it is traditional to sprinkle salt on your watermelon, and we’ve seen this trend translate in the culinary world with chefs pairing watermelon with salty cheeses like feta or grilled halloumi,” notes Vic.
Try this Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Pistachios recipe, or make a simple summer salad of arugula, watermelon, feta cheese and mint, along with a balsamic vinegar glaze.
Add Some Spice
Sweet and spicy go hand-and-hand. When it comes to watermelon, it pairs nicely with spices like jalapeño in this Spicy Watermelon and Berry Salsa recipe, or you can even make this twist on gazpacho in this easy to make summertime soup.
Any Way You Slice It
“Watermelon is super hydrating, making it ideal for a hot summer’s day. Because it is made up of about 92% water, it also means its lower in calories. One cup contains about 46 calories,” said Meghan Flynn, Registered Dietitian and Director of Communications at The Fresh Market. “Watermelon gets its red color from the antioxidant lycopene; which studies show may promote heart health.”
According to an FDA food safety survey only half of consumers wash their melons before cutting into them.
“To enjoy your watermelon safely, always wash the outside of any melon before cutting into it,” said The Fresh Market’s Director of Food Safety, James Ball. “That also goes for avocados or any other produce you would cut into.”
For more ways to enjoy watermelon, including tips and recipes, visit www.thefreshmarket.com.