Vegetarians and vegans are at an all time high, so it should be no surprise that restaurants are coming up with all sorts of options to fit that lifestyle.
However, it is surprising what exactly those restaurants come up with. Case and point: smoked watermelon ham by Duck’s Eatery in New York City.
Duck’s was famous around NYC for their smoked meats, so owner William Horowitz decided to get crafty and create the coolest option he could for vegetarians and vegans.
“We’re famous for our smoked meats, and we wanted to have some more vegan and vegetarian options. We simply do the same thing that we’ve been doing for thousands of years to meats, but we do it to a melon. We do all of these techniques that may seem really strange, but they’re actually pretty normal… and they’re delicious,” Horowitz says.
Each melon takes 4-6 days to prepare, starting with a brining, followed by a smoking, and finished with a scoring and braising.
It’s brined in a mixture of oregano, salt, coriander, and oakwood ash. Once dried, the watermelon is smoked for half a day. When the watermelon comes out, it has a “skin-like” exterior from the ash.
The melon is then scored to look like a ham, then it’s basted in olive oil, rosemary, and its own juices.
One melon can feed 3-5 people and costs $75 each. Considering how long and tedious the process is, I think it’s definitely worth the price tag if you’re curious about the flavor.
The taste is salty, sweet, savory, smokey, and completely unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
Would you try smoked watermelon ham?