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Jun 24, 2009 04:31 PM

Summer Frivolity: How to Strategically Smash A Watermelon into Six Pieces

There's a way -- a way that I don't know -- to strategically hit a watermelon so that
it cleaves easily into six hexagonal pieces, like petals on a flower, leaving the heart -- the best part of the watermelon -- in the middle.

I've seen it done, and heard about it.

From "Like Water for Chocolate" [the book and the movie]:

"Mama Elena was a specialist in cutting the watermelon:
taking a sharp knife, she would drive the point in so it penetrated
just to the end of the green rind, without touching the heart of the watermelon.
She could pick up the watermelon and give it a single blow against a stone,
in a particular spot, and like magic the watermelon rind would open like
the petals of a flower leaving the heart intact on the table.”

Anyone know how to score the watermelon to help it cleave symmetrically?
Where on the watermelon do I hit it? The end or the equator?
And how, um, hard do I hit it?

Any tips, videos, leads? Appreciate any and all suggestions...summer is barreling along!


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  1. Wow I can't wait to see the replies.

    1. Ask Mythbusters to test it for you. If they can't figure out the correct spot, they will at least show you how to blow one to smithereens.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        Great idea! I just wrote the Mythbusters guys.

      2. I'm still working on coconuts.

        But the premise sounds frighteningly like the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

        Here's a nonkarate derivation of your idea though:

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cinnamon


          But this technique is great for serving, rather than exploding, the watermelon!

        2. WHere have you seen it done?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Quine

            It's demonstrated in the movie "Like Water for Chocolate." The scene is in the middle, shortly after Tita's sister has given birth and is shown nursing. I also saw it done at an outdoor picnic a few years ago, but I just caught the smashing part and not the prep.

            I'll test out tmso's technique (below) tonight and report back.

            I've also written a few watermelon festival directors and have asked if they know of anyone who knows how to do this, and can provide direction.

          2. Are you allowed to score the watermelon before? Then you could 'draw' a deep score into the rind without actually cutting the melon. (a horizontal score across the middle, and then two deep scores on either side at 60 degrees)
            Then bang a chisel into the centre of the pie cut and it should divide into 6 equal parts

            1 Reply
            1. re: waytob


              this was a great tip about scoring. see below for results!