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 »

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