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Watermelon — it’s not just for summer picnics anymore. That’s the message, among many others, behind efforts by the Orlando, Fla.-based National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB) to bring the iconic fruit into the 21st century with its very own blog.
The blog, called What About Watermelon and accessible at watermelon.org, is part of an ongoing effort by the NWPB to help win back the fruit’s popularity and offer culinary inspiration by portraying watermelon as an ingredient in everything from pancakes to pasta.
“The image of watermelon is long overdue for a makeover, and that’s what we hope to accomplish with this blog,” says NWPB executive director Mark Arney, who noted in the blog’s first entry that of the more than 70 million blogs in existence, the NWPB’s is the first dedicated solely to watermelons. “We’re also looking forward to engaging in conversations with others out there who love watermelon just as much as we do.”
Updated two to three times each week, What About Watermelon will feature watermelon recipes, news and facts — from why knocking on a watermelon to determine ripeness doesn’t work to an inside look at life on a watermelon farm. It will also host monthly polls, award watermelon-related prizes to random viewers who provide comments on the blog, and host a panel of watermelon experts, including a chef, a nutritionist, a farmer, and the National Watermelon Queen herself. Readers can e-mail questions to any panelist and receive personalized answers.
Chef Harry Schwartz serves as the blog’s expert for all things cooking- and kitchen-related. Schwartz, or “Chef Harry” as he prefers to be called, is an author and national TV personality who began working with the NWPB in 2007 during its campaign to fight childhood obesity.
“There’s so much you can do with watermelon beyond the traditional wedge at the backyard barbecue,” said Schwartz. “Demonstrating that versatility is just one of many goals of the blog. Another is to have fun, because watermelon is a fun food, no matter what time of year it is.”
The NWPB was founded in 1989 and represents more than 1,500 watermelon growers, shippers and importers throughout North and South America.