Let me begin by saying that I was very skeptical on this matter. My grandmother has always salted her melon and I never understood it, but I did recognize that it was a thing for many people. However, like a toddler, I was very happy in judging it without ever having actually tried it - I know, I know.
I am sure there is a backstory about where this pairing originated and why - and I would love to hear all about it if you know - but that is way too big of a rabbit hole for me to fall down into today. But what do you do when you have a business that does actually sell a beautiful hand-blended flake sea salt with edible flowers? You try it - now that is research that I can get behind!
The Verdict: I love it! I feel bad about being judgy before.
The Reasoning: It satisfied both cravings for something sweet and savory without being a guilty indulgence. Come to think of it, sweet and savory have always gone hand in hand, right?
Notes: I do not feel like the two, salted and unsalted, are interchangeable. I imagine there will always be people who staunchly like it only one way and will go to their corners. For example, my kids refuse to try it and that is okay because there is room for all of us here. But as a recent convert, I feel like there are occasions for both. While I may prefer fresh unsalted watermelon at breakfast time, I can definitely see myself serving salted watermelon as an appetizer or easy side dish at a summer party. Lastly, I am definitely biased but would recommend our Flouwer Co. Classic Floral Garnishing Salt because the large salt flakes and flowers were gorgeous while the chive blossom and purple basil amped up the savory garden flavors that so perfectly balance the sweetness of the summer watermelon.
How would I serve salted watermelon to make it summer party-worthy? Oh, why I am so glad you asked!
Cut: Here I cut the watermelon in to wedges, but wedges are not pretty to eat. I recommend cutting the watermelon into large bite-sized cubes that guests can graze on with toothpicks.
To Serve: I would definitely recommend a shallow serving platter over a bowl. You want a single-ish layer of watermelon so that every piece is garnished and salted. Also, the salt will inevitably draw moisture from the watermelon and if it's in a deep bowl then it will just pool at the bottom and get soggy. Think nachos here - how pissed are you when all of the goodies are picked clean off the top layer and you're left with a sad bowl of broken chips after just a couple bites - boo!
To Garnish: A squeeze of fresh lime juice and chopped mint is more than sufficient here.
Sprinkle: For reasons outlined above we recommend topping the watermelon with Flouwer Co. Classic Floral Garnishing Salt. If you do not have this on hand please be sure to select a large flake sea salt. Table salt will dissolve into the melon and your guests will taste the difference but may not understand why - people like to see what they are eating. And please be sure to wait until just before serving to sprinkle on the salt so that it does not have time to dissolve.
Enjoy! Who knew I had so many thoughts on the topic of salted watermelon. Apologies again for being judgy - I'm always striving to be better!