This Restaurant Will Blow Your Mind with Its Watermelon Ham
There are some things in this world that are just not meant to be understood. Where is that long-rumored Lost City of Atlantis? How and why was Stonehenge built? Why do so many people watch The Big Bang Theory? And what made chef and restaurateur Will Horowitz decided to marinate a watermelon, smoke it for eight hours, and bring his unsettling fruit-ham to life?
During the last week of July, Ducks Eatery, Horowitz’ East Village restaurant, posted a pic of what looked like a ham, garnished with thyme and pulled straight out of the smoker. “Holy hot watermelon ham,” the caption read, complete with two watermelon emoji. A few days later, professional food orderer Jeremy Jacobowitz posted a video to his Brunch Boys ‘gram, showing the still-steaming watermelon being served at his table. It … it … looks like ham, and each cut looks like a slice of perfectly rare roast beef. What it doesn’t look like AT ALL is watermelon.
“It’s such a mindf***,” he said. “Your brain wants to think ‘meaty and you get that smokiness and the saltiness, but then you go through it and get that sweetness of the watermelon. I don’t know how to process what I just ate, but it’s delicious.”
According to De Telegraaf, Horowitz really does treat the watermelon like it’s a ham. He peels each melon and allows it to marinate for four days in a combination of herbs, salt, and ash before smoking it for eight long hours.
This isn’t the first confusing fruit-meat that Horowitz is responsible for, either: Earlier this year, he released a cantaloupe burger that taste like steak. According to Thrillist, that intensive two-day process of curing, fermenting, smoking, slow-baking, dehydrating, and searing gives the fruit the full meat treatment.
“The result is a filet with an actual skin, and though there’s no fat involved, it feels as juicy in the mouth as a steak would,” the site explains. “It’s rich and smoky, like brisket with whispers of black pepper, pine, and a roasted pumpkin. It tastes nothing like cantaloupe.”
The ability to turn melons into “meat” has officially passed the Druids’ (inedible) rock circle on our list of Things We Don’t Understand.