When it is hot, and it is hot now, my appetite shrinks. I crave fruit, ice cold fruit. I often look like a chipmunk with my mouth filled with the pits from cherries or several pits from stone fruits after a visit to the walk in. While we have not come across these summer treats, I have had the pleasure of indulging in some watermelon. While watermelon is refreshing it lacks the intense flavor of ripe stone fruits. That is until we season it with a touch of salt and compress it under a vacuum.
Yes, we have compressed water and other melons before, yet we were using a Foodsaver. Foodsavers are great, they have been instrumental in a fair amount of our cooking, though with a full on vacuum machine at our disposal, the game has changed. Compressing fruits is now like comparing apples to oranges. It has also led us to think about the speed in which we can pickle ingredients and whether or not heat is needed in the process.
Just yesterday we were able to start pickling watermelon rind and today before dinner we had a finished pickle. We compressed the cleaned rind and then today we added a pickling solution. We vacuum sealed the two together again and the result, pickled watermelon rind. We will pursue the uses of the rind and the compressed watermelon in the next few days. As it has become apparent we follow an ingredient through many applications and ideas.