Creative Watermelon Carving Ideas for National Watermelon Day
It’s National Watermelon Day. But if you’re like us, you’ve been celebrating this delicious fruit all summer. From juices and smoothies to sorbet and even fruit leather, watermelon is the star of many summer recipes. No need to go to too much trouble either; you can always slice it up and enjoy it as-is.
Today we’re looking at watermelon from a different angle — as an art form — and sharing watermelon carving ideas. Watermelon is especially well-suited to carving, with its contrasting green rind and red flesh. Even better, regardless of how your watermelon carvings turn out, you can always eat the finished product.
Watermelon Carving Ideas: How the Pros Do It
First, a bit of background. Mukimono is the art of fruit and vegetable carving. Historically, Asian cultures have created and used mukimono in varying ways: decorative animals and birds in China; exotic flowers in Thailand; and geometric shapes in Japan that also served as edible garnishes. This art spread across Europe to western cultures. Mukimono continues to be popular today, inspiring artists to try their hand at turning watermelons into dragons, flowers and baby carriages.
While we found several tutorials for mukimono, we don’t need to pick up a paring knife to know that it isn’t as easy as it might look. This how-to on Saveur simply instructs: “Gently cut out a ring of heart-shaped petals.” We might need more specific direction to achieve those results.
However, we did find some tips that even an amateur can use, thanks to professional watermelon carver Chef Ruben Arroco. First, choose the brightest, darkest green rind you can find. That will give your work more contrast. Also, a solid, firm watermelon will have a better texture and will be easier to work with. Finally, the bigger your watermelon, the better!
The good news is that even though there are entire shops devoted to mukimono tools, Chef Arroco recommends sticking with a sharp paring knife. Hold it and control it as you would use a pen.
Watermelon Carving Ideas: How You Can Do It
Want to start with some easier watermelon carving projects? We can help with that too.
These two tutorials for watermelon roses on Instructables include more detailed instructions than the how-to’s we mentioned earlier. They are fairly similar, so we’d advise you to follow the approach that looks more doable to you. Both of them use a paring knife for the detail work, and a good chef’s knife will be important for the larger cuts.
The first one creates a watermelon rose that’s more pink:
It takes a while to start to see the rose emerging, but at about three minutes into the video, you’ll get the picture. It’s painstaking and repetitive work, but the results are pretty cool.
The second one creates a watermelon rose that’s more white. Although it doesn’t include a video, there are pictures to illustrate every step.
If these watermelon roses are still a bit too ambitious for you, we understand. Check out the Watermelon Carvings page on the official Watermelon Board website. There you’ll find dozens of watermelon carving ideas in categories ranging from creative baskets to movie characters. Each one includes a list of supplies and detailed step-by-step instructions. Below are some of our favorites:
Whatever watermelon carving ideas you decide to try, don’t forget that the results are edible, no matter how they look.
Want some recipe suggestions for using all the watermelon after you’ve carved it? Follow us on Pinterest — we’ll be pinning watermelon recipes all day today!