My sister Kazuko visited me in Slovakia a few years ago. It was hot and we bought a large watermelon for the kids to slurp on the balcony, juice dripping down their chins. She started to cut into it.
“It has seeds!” she exclaimed. “I haven’t seen seeds in a watermelon for ages!”
All the watermelon in Slovakia has seeds, that I know of. Seedless fruit is very convenient. For example, if making a salad with watermelon, you don’t have to flick out scads of little black seeds.
Last year I received a pile of home grown grapes, more than we could eat fresh, and I thought of making raisins with it until I remembered that the grapes would have seeds. I was not going to de-seed a pile of grapes.
But, if I recall my highschool biology correctly, reproduction is one of the characteristics of living beings. If it’s alive, it aims to reproduce. That’s the whole point of fruit in the first place, to ‘incubate’ seeds.
Except for seedless watermelon and grapes. Have we supplanted the telos of watermelon from ‘reproduce’ to ‘be as convenient as possible for human consumption’? (I speak somewhat tongue in cheek – I don’t usually go around wondering about the telos of my food before it was food).
Anyhow, whether you have seedless watermelon or not, this sorbet is a breeze to make. Adding lemon balm to the watermelon takes it to a whole new level.
I hadn’t heard of lemon balm, also called melissa, until I came to Slovakia. It’s commonly used as tea for relaxation here, being both calming and uplifting. For more info about lemon balm, the Herb Society of America has an indepth guide, covering everything from mentions in literature to cultivation to recipes.
Honestly, pairing watermelon and lemon balm was a guess on my part. I wanted to make a watermelon sorbet and had lemon balm on the balcony. Why not? I was genuinely surprised at how well they complemented each other. The lemon balm adds a lemony flavour and cuts the sweetness of the watermelon without any sourness. It’s amazing.
This is also delicious as a drink if it melts. Frozen or as a drink, this watermelon lemon balm mix is both refreshing and relaxing.
If you don’t have lemon balm, you can also try mint or basil.
- 300g/10oz/about 2 cups watermelon
- 5g/1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
- Cut watermelon into chunks, de-seeding if necessary. Freeze.
- Combine lemon balm and frozen watermelon in machine. Blend until smooth. Refreeze if necessary or eat immediately.
- In food processor or blender, blend watermelon and lemon balm until smooth.
- Use an ice cream maker OR pour into a container and freeze, stirring every 30-60 min.