Where to Buy Local Watermelons:
In Statesboro, you can stop by Strickland Farms on Highway 67 to get watermelons, or visit the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market in the downtown parking area of Sea Island Bank each Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. A local farmer sells them in the parking area of the Chevron gas station on the 301 Bypass too.
When selecting your watermelon, remember these tips from the Georgia Watermelon Association:
1. Select a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
2. The watermelon should be heavy for its size, thanks to the water content.
3. Look underneath for a creamy yellow spot, which shows that the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Where there's watermelon, there's usually a good time. They instantly take a beach trip or picnic to the next level. Georgia may be the Peach State, but we're also among the leading five states in the U.S. that consistently produce watermelons.
According to GeorgiaGrown.com, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are the other top four producers. An iconic symbol of summertime with a thick rind and fleshy center, the sweet, juicy fruit comes by its name honestly. Watermelon has an extremely high water content, approximately 92 percent, giving its flesh a juicy and thirst-quenching texture while maintaining crunch. The fruit is also packed with nutrients (watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes!) and boasts some pretty impressive health benefits.
In this week's column, I'll share three different ways to enjoy the abundant crop featuring some of my favorite summer recipes, plus some fun facts you may have never considered.
In Georgia, nearly 24,000 acres of land make up our watermelon production and the top five producing counties include Dooley, Crisp, Tift, Wilcox and Worth. China is number one in global production, while the United States ranks fourth. The Georgia Department of Agriculture says famed missionary explorer Dr. David Livingstone first found watermelons in the 1850s growing wild in central Africa.
School may be back in session, but the first official day of fall isn't until Sept. 23. Plus, we all know summertime in Statesboro can last year ‘round. So, while watermelons are on the up and up, try one of these scrumptious takes on the fruit, and then head on over to SomeKindaGood.org to let me know what you think. There is no shortage of ways to use watermelon, so today I'll share a drink, salad and dessert recipe. Y'all enjoy!
* 1 1/2 lbs (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
* 1 cup lemon sorbet
* 1 lemon, zested
* 1 1/2 cups cold water
* Watermelon wedges and mint, for garnish
In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.
Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad
* 1/2 cup chopped watermelon
* 1/4 cup black peppercorn feta cheese
* Handful of fresh basil, julienned
Place watermelon in a bowl. Sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!
The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking
Yield: 1 (two-layer cake)
* 1 tbs. all-purpose flour
* 1 18.25-oz. box white cake mix ( I used the Duncan Hines brand)
* 1 3-oz. package of mixed-fruit flavored gelatin
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup chopped watermelon
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 Cup (1 stick) of margarine, softened
* 1 16-oz. box confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 to 1 cup watermelon
* Red food coloring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl sprinkle the flour over the cake mix. Add the gelatin, oil and watermelon. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer adding the eggs one at a time. Divide the batter into two greased and floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes. For the icing, combine the margine and confectioners' sugar. Blend in the watermelon gradually until spreading consistency is reached. Red food coloring may be added for the effect. Spread the icing generously over the cooled cake.
Rebekah Faulk is a Georgia food writer and Statesboro-based TV personality. A Season 2 contestant on ABC's "The Taste," she blogs at somekindagood.org, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East Coast restaurant reviews and Low Country-inspired recipes. Follow her on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or search Facebook for Some Kinda Good.