Southern Chefs Debate Whether To Put Salt On Watermelon Or Not

photo credit: Don Mihos‎ - Facebook / Salt Bae - Facebook

Should You Salt Your Watermelon?

When it’s summertime and you’re searching for the tastiest treat to combat the heat there’s nothing juicier than a red and green watermelon. The question is though… do you eat watermelon like it is or do you put salt on it?

The folks at Southern Thing have gathered a wide variety of opinions from southern chefs who give their thoughts on putting salt on watermelon, and here’s what they had to say.

Southern Chefs Opinions On Salting Watermelon

  • The owner of Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q in Bessemer Alabama, Van Skyes says when he was a kid he used to put salt on his watermelon because he saw his mom do it. However, around the 70s and 80s he decided to be healthier and not use salt anymore. Fast forward to now, he says he recently put salt on it again and liked it. “You know, Mom was probably right about that.’ You know what they say: Old folks know best. So, I guess I’m an old folk now.”
  • Nick Bishop Sr., from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, said that he doesn’t agree with putting salt on watermelon. All it needs to be is put in a cooler for a day or so to make it cold before you eat it but no salt is needed. “When you get the right watermelon, it doesn’t need anything,” he said.
  • Owner of The Grocery in Charleston South Carolina, Kevin Johnson says, “I do salt my watermelon — typically with a chile-lime salt that you buy at the Latin supermarket.” In his opinion, it’s the mixture of the chili powder and lime zest and salt that makes the watermelon taste so delicious.
  • Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, Chris Lilly says he’s not big on putting salt on his watermelon either. He understands why people do it but he chooses not to. Then again he also said, “I don’t put salt on the rim of my margaritas, either.”
  • And lastly, Rodney Scott of Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina says he doesn’t salt his watermelon because he learned in economics that if the belly of watermelon has a yellowish color it’s sweet. Rodney says he picks his own watermelons and looks for the yellow belly ones and the darker the yellow the sweeter the melon. “I became pretty good at picking a sweet melon, so no salt was necessary.”

So there you have it! The expert opinions from the master chefs themselves. It’s always good to hear what the top dogs have to say but everyone is different. What’s your personal opinion on putting salt on your watermelon?

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