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    Watermelon Jerky. Trust me on this one.

    So the summer of 2010 is drawing to a close.

    Alas my summer love affair with watermelon is not.

    I'm not the only one in the family who loves watermelon.

    I've been practically obsessed with watermelon these past few months. Keep in mind I've always loved my Watermelon Rind Pickles, but since the weather turned warmer I've been through the Watermelon Agua Fresca phase, the Watermelon Feta Salad (with Kalamata olives added) near-addiction, the Watermelon with Lime Juice & Agave Salad 5 days-in-a-row thing, the Watermelon Jelly experiment, and now, it's Watermelon Jerky. I mean, I was almost over watermelon, and that last one I bought being nearly flavorless didn't help one bit. But then it hit me. If this watermelon didn't have so much "water" in it, it would be much better.

    The flavorless watermelon was bound for the compost bin, but at the last minute I decided to slice it up (about 1/2" - 3/4" thick; it doesn't have to be exact) and stick it in the food dehydrator. I decided to add a couple slices of the "Yellow Doll" watermelon while I was at it, because this particular one didn't taste like much either.

    2 types of Watermelon, ready for the dehydrator

    It was a stroke of genius. Not entirely an original idea, mind you. I had heard people say that once dehydrated, watermelon tastes like candy. An idea I didn't find totally appealing, if you consider the fact that my least favorite Jolly Rancher candy flavor, growing up, was watermelon. Hard to believe, I know, but so far it's only been genuine watermelon, not the artificially-flavored kind that has me in it's clutches.

    24 hours (at 135 degrees) later, Watermelon Jerky.

    Crispy, yet chewy, and not unlike Watermelon Cotton Candy, if such a thing even exists!

    Try it. One bite and you'll be hooked. Last call for watermelons. I think I better run out to the grocery store and stock up, before the Labor Day weekend sales are over.

    Reader Comments (4)

    One more great watermelon experience: I had a salad at the Palmer House in Chicago that was mostly market greens with goat cheese croquette, hazelnuts and olive oil vinaigrette. Hidden underneath the greens, however, was a 1 inch thick round of fresh watermelon the size of the greens. I don't remember knowing in advance that there was watermelon but it was a fabulous combination and experience going through the layers.

    October 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteryour pal Lynn

    Hello, what kind of dehydrator do you use?

    June 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjen

    Sorry I am just seeing this Jen :(

    I use an Excalibur dehydrator, but you can use any type of dehydrator or even dry them in the sun on screens (covered lightly with another screen or netting to protect them from bugs.)

    The time it takes to dry them will vary because all watermelons are different, and the humidity and heat affects the drying time too.

    Just remember that the thickness of the slice will reduce quite a bit since WATERmelons are mostly water ;)

    Let me know how it goes.

    Thank you for taking the time to post; only wish I'd seen this sooner. I suppose there will be plenty of chances to make Watermelon Jerky since it's still early in the summer.


    July 11, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    I've also noticed that melons that are blah when fresh can dry down to make pretty good watermelon jerky chips. Some flavor components evaporate in the dryer, but whatever remains becomes concentrated in the chips.

    July 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrthomas
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