New Watermelon Foodservice Guide
If the cooler temps have you feeling blue, there’s no better time for
a party with family and friends to lift your spirits. Though you may
not want to treat your guests to an al fresco brunch, winter weather
shouldn’t hold you back from entertaining in style. From playful
party games to creative recipes that feature the fresh flavors of
watermelon, a little mid-winter gathering is just what you need to
beat boredom and get you primed for sunnier months ahead.
To make your winter party a hot success, follow these tips for
setting the theme and creating the perfect menu:
• Don’t shy away from foods typically associated with warmer
weather. Watermelon, for example, is available year-round and
makes a surprisingly healthful and delicious addition to a winter
party spread, whether in a fruity drink, side dish or dessert. The
recipe below combines decadent chocolate fondue with the light,
sweet pop of juicy watermelon. Remember to save the rind to use
as a pretty carved centerpiece.
• Pick a theme that pays homage to the season. Penguins, snow-men, icicles – the possibilities are endless, so set your imagination
free. Remember that lighting sets the mood, so look for options
that complement your theme, whether soft and subtle candles or
bright and colorful paper lanterns.
Social media plays a key role in National Watermelon Promotion Board’s (NWPB) mission to promote
watermelon as an everyday healthy choice for consumers. In an effort to create a memorable and
credible social media identity, NWPB revealed refreshed branding on its social media channels this fall.
“Social media is fundamental in our goal to educate and inspire consumers,” says Stephanie Barlow,
director of PR and social media. “Today, our fans enjoy following, tweeting, watching, pinning and liking
watermelon on their favorite social media channels. Moving forward, we’re rebranding our social media
channels as ‘Watermelon Board’ to connect at the simplest level – through a consistent, reputable name.”
After a comprehensive review of NWPB’s social media presence, we quickly decided to unite each social media channel by identifying as “Watermelon Board,” says Barlow. “It embraces our position as a top resource on watermelon and is easily recognizable
from channel to channel.”
From diverse watermelon recipes and inspiring carvings to exciting contests, how-to videos and online dialogue, NWPB social
media efforts encourage consumers to enjoy watermelon year-round at Facebook ( Facebook.com/watermelonboard), Twitter
(@watermelonboard, Twitter.com/watermelonboard), Pinterest ( Pinterest.com/watermelonboard), Instagram ( Instagram.com/
watermelonboard) and You Tube ( Youtube.com/watermelonboard).
With the nation’s foodservice operators committed to
providing healthier menu options for patrons, this year NWPB
set out to demonstrate to decision-makers that watermelon is
not only a healthful ingredient worthy of consideration, but
on-trend and an excellent value.
To strategize the best content, NWPB conducted personal
interviews during the summer and fall with chefs and foodservice operators exploring topics such as usage of fresh
produce, menu development and overall awareness and
opinions about watermelon.
The feedback help shape and develop the new
Watermelon Foodservice Guide, that provides facts
about watermelon usage and handling, features its
value and versatility, highlights innovative watermelon
dishes, and inspires foodservice recipes.
We shared the Watermelon Foodservice Guide with
key media at the International Foodservice Editorial
Council conference in November, and the online
Foodservice Guide is posted and available 24/7
online at Watermelon.org.
Watermelon and Spicy Mayan Dark Chocolate Fondue
4 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup fat-free half and half, plus extra reserve
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 /2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 /2 teaspoon coriander
8 ounces dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cocoa powder)
Wrap watermelon cubes in paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
Set aside.In medium saucepan, bring half and half and spices to
almost simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Let chocolate melt, then continue to stir until thoroughly blended and
creamy. Adjust flavors to personal taste. Transfer fondue to fondue
pot and heat according to directions. (If fondue becomes too thick,
stir in extra reserve half and half, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired
Place watermelon cubes on platter with fondue forks or skewers.
For more entertaining recipes and party ideas,
n lif o o a
How to Host a Hot Winter Party