Thai Watermelon Carving

Mention watermelon carving to most people in this country, and they’ll probably think of a hollowed-out, melon ball-filled watermelon “basket”. In Thailand, however, the elaborate carving of watermelon and other fruits and vegetables is a long-standing and respected tradition that dates to the 14th century, when the art evolved in the court of King Phra Ruang. Here, a step-by-step guide gives you perfect instructions for carving like the masters. Back to An Ancient Art »

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Carve a small circle into one end of a watermelon. Using a large chef’s knife, slice it off. André Baranowski
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Cut away the rind in long, downward strokes. Stop several inches above the bottom of the watermelon; this part of the rind will remain intact. André Baranowski
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Continue stripping away the rind until the watermelon is white. André Baranowski
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Using a small, curved knife, carve a circle into the top of the watermelon. André Baranowski
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Continue to make the line of the circle deeper and wider. André Baranowski
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Starting at the circle, gently cut out a ring of heart-shaped petals. André Baranowski
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Continue the pattern, gradually making the petals larger. André Baranowski
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André Baranowski
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Carefully carve out smaller, petal-like shapes within each triangle. André Baranowski
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Vary the line of the large triangle to make it slightly wavy. André Baranowski
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Continue the same pattern. André Baranowski
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Follow the pattern until you reach the part of the rind that’s still intact. André Baranowski
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Cut out curved, petal-like shapes at the top of the watermelon. André Baranowski
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Continue cutting out shapes until the top resembles a flower. André Baranowski
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Admire your masterpiece. Here, Kalaya Tongchareon Paragas, who practices Thai produce carving as a hobby, shows off hers. André Baranowski