Get experimental with watermelon this summer

July 01 2014

During the summer months, few foods are more refreshing than the beautifully juicy watermelon, making it an ideal addition to a restaurant's menu.

Despite this, combining the colourful fruit with chili paste is most likely not at the top of many restaurateur's priority lists.

However, according to an article in the Canadian Metro - which has compiled a selection of innovative ways to use watermelon to coincide with the summer - making a smoothie from a type of Korean hot chili paste known as gochujang can create a refreshing, filling, nutritious beverage. Not only this, but the unusual combination would certainly spice up a restaurant's menu - and a diner's taste buds.

The drink may not be the most appetizing in colour, being a vivid green, but as it contains kale, parsley, green tea powder, pineapple juice, fresh mint and avocado, it is definitely going to be a treat for the drinker.

Gochujang is made from red chili powder, salt and powdered fermented soybeans, and is fast becoming a popular feature in many Canadian kitchens.

Lovers of watermelon who can't quite handle the heat may prefer to see the fruit accompany a meat dish or in the form of a salad when dining out instead.

The newspaper suggests it would make a great addition to Thai-style chicken, with the melon's rind helping to create an unusual accompanying chutney.

To make the condiment, chefs will also need apple cider vinegar, sugar, minced fresh ginger, minced garlic and seasoning, with the potential for this to be served with many dishes on a restaurant's menu, from pork to the cheese board course.

Although the thirst-quenching fruit is often consumed on its own, cooks have been experimenting with it for centuries, with the first cookbook published in the US in 1776 containing a recipe for pickled watermelon rind.

Uses for the fruit have come a long way since then, as these recipes fusing watermelon with different cultures and flavours show.

Foodservice workers who wish to include dishes containing the fruit on their menu would be wise to experiment to concoct a unique creation - after all, that's the only way a delicious chili paste and watermelon smoothie could have been dreamt up!