Whether for a beach party or a backyard cookout, a watermelon carved into a shark design is sure to dazzle guests and get kids excited about eating fruit. This works best with an oblong-shaped watermelon which closely matches the shape of a shark's body. Though you must remove all the fruit from the inside to carve the shark, its mouth creates a small bowl for serving the watermelon and other fruits. While the watermelon keeps in the fridge, it's best to carve the shark the same day you wish to serve it.
Things You'll Need
- Cutting board
- Large carving knife
- Melon baller
- Paring knife
- Serving plate
- Blue gelatin
- Gummy fish
Lay the watermelon on a cutting board and cut off the bottom one-third of the watermelon at a slight angle so the shark leans forward slightly when you stand it up on the serving platter. Reserve the bottom one-third because you can add the fruit to the fruit bowl.
Draw a mouth at the end of the watermelon with a pen or fine-tipped marker. The mouth should be wedge-shaped at a fairly wide angle. Leave an extra 1/2 to 1 inch on the top and bottom of the mouth to allow for teeth. Draw an oval for an eye on both sides of the watermelon, a few inches up from the mouth.
Cut out the wedge shape with a large knife, using the marks as a guide. Reserve the removed section of fruit and keep the rind intact to make the dorsal fin later.
Cut out the remaining watermelon from inside the shark's body, from the lower one-third of the watermelon, and from the section you cut out for its mouth. You can cut the watermelon into chunks or remove ball-shaped pieces with a melon baller tool. Refrigerate the watermelon pieces. Scrape out any remaining flesh with a spoon, digging as close to the white of the rind as possible.
Draw another line about 1/2 to 1 inch up from each cut line for the mouth. Score along these lines with a small paring knife, cutting only through the green of the rind down to the white layer. You can easily see the depth of the green exterior if you look along the first cut you made. Insert the knife between the white and green layers and cut along the mouth to remove all of the green. The rind will fall off along the scored lines, leaving 1/2 to 1 inch wide strips of white.
Cut the white strips of watermelon in a zigzag pattern to create top and bottom teeth all the way around.
Cut the oval shapes for the eyes through the green layer and about halfway through the white of the rind, creating a shallow socket for the eyes. Break a toothpick in half and push each piece through a blueberry. Push the opposite end of the toothpicks into the eye sockets to give the shark two blueberry eyes.
Cut a curved, triangle-shaped dorsal fin from the section of rind you removed to create the mouth, making the fin about 4 to 6 inches wide and tall. Curve the base of the triangle slightly so it fits snugly against the watermelon. Push two toothpicks into the watermelon shark's body, on the top of the body a few inches up from the base. Space the toothpicks a few inches apart. Push the dorsal fin watermelon piece onto the toothpicks to hold it in place.
Stand the watermelon shark upright on a serving plate. Fill the shark's mouth with the reserved watermelon chunks or balls. Mix the watermelon with other fruit, such as cantaloupe, honeydew or mixed berries, if desired. When you use only watermelon, the red color gives the look of a bloody mouth.
Place bite-sized blue gelatin squares around the shark to resemble ocean water. Scatter a few gummy fish on the gelatin and in the shark's mouth.
Tips & Warnings
- If you set the shark in a shallow bowl, you can add some blue punch to the bowl to even better resemble water. For an adult's-only party, serve alcoholic punch in the bowl and use it to spike the watermelon, if desired.
- Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images