BY BETH COLVIN
Assistant Food editor
June 27, 2012
There’s nothing better in the hot Louisiana summertime than a cold slice of watermelon. Unless it’s a cold beer.
Now, Baton Rouge’s own Tin Roof Brewing Co. is making it possible to have both at the same time. Co-founder William McGehee said the company’s first seasonal ale, Watermelon Wheat, rolled out this week.
“It’s really got a great watermelon nose and kind of a hint of watermelon in the flavor,” he said. “It’s a refreshing American wheat ale.”
The watermelons came from Washington Parish, McGehee said.
“We love everything local, so we really tried to stick with local ingredients. Watermelon in Louisiana in the summertime seemed kind of perfect,” he said.
A perennial summertime favorite, the watermelon is native to Africa and gets its name from the fact it is nearly 92 percent water. The fruit is also high in vitamins A and C, and is a top provider of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage.
There are many varieties in America, most of them having a unique green-striped rind and red flesh. The flesh can be white, pink or yellow and can be either seeded or seedless.
The whole of the watermelon is edible; seeds can be roasted, rinds can be pickled and the flesh eaten raw. Peak watermelon season, happily for us, coincides with the hottest months in the U.S., running from June to late August. Watermelon is also a crowd-pleaser. The National Watermelon Promotion Board claims a large fruit can feed about 40 people, sliced, cut in balls, wedges sticks or juiced.
The melon also takes readily to alcoholic preparations, like Tin Roof’s Watermelon Wheat, and stronger drinks, like martinis.