Bon Appétit (August 2014)
Five years ago this week, we published a recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.
If you're not famliar with watermelon pickles, we don't blame you.
In the expanse of food writing, Pickled Watermelon Rind is widely described as a Southern delicacy. Is it so much that it's a delicacy, or that our Southern grandmamas and great-grandmamas were so poor that they had no choice but to find something to do with watermelon rinds. Delicacy, necessity, maybe a bit of both?
Our take on the Pickled Watermelon Rind five years ago used cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to flavor a standard pickling liquid (salt, sugar, vinegar, water). We even processed the jars, which meant that we had Pickled Watermelon Rind on hand for years to trot out as a party trick.
A year after we first made the dish, we served our watermelon pickles with a Spicy Pork Loin. Three years later, in 2013, we served what was left of our pickles at a dinner party featuring Momofuku's Bo Ssam. (Nudge: Start planning your autumn Bo Ssam party now. You will be heralded as hero/role model/mythical creature after serving this dish.)
Well, we're now all out of our original pickled watermelon rind. And this August we've been buying watermelons at the market to nosh on every chance we get. When we saw that Bon Appétit's latest issue included a recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind, we figured it was time to get back to pickling.