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Rind over matter

Healthy and delicious, watermelon is a perfect slice of summer.

Like a lot of New Orleanians, I love to cook, and I love to show off. I always make my own marinara sauce, I usually make my own chicken stock, and I sometimes make my own pasta. I don’t shy away from complex instructions or long prep times. I thrive on a culinary challenge. As an added bonus, I know what goes into my food when I make it from scratch, and it tastes so much better, too.

But then August rolls around, and the heat destroys my good intentions. I can’t stand the idea of turning on the stove, let alone the oven, but I don’t have a sudden desire to eat processed pre-made junk just because it’s too hot to cook. So these are the days of gazpacho, of chilled cucumber soup, of Creole tomato sandwiches eaten over the sink, of fruit and cheese and French bread and wine. These are the days of watermelon. 

Watermelon is low in fat and cholesterol and high in vitamin C and — at least according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board — can help maintain cardiovascular health. But the real reason to enjoy a nice pink hunk of melon is that it just tastes like summer. It tastes like picnics and camp outs, like pool parties and the Fourth of July. It can be dressed up in a salsa or a salad or even made into a tasty margarita, but it’s really most at home eaten right out of your hands while the juice drips down your arms.

Showing off can wait until it cools down. Right now, it’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. 

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