Looks like meat even though it's fruit
Credit: Food Beast/YouTube

While there are plenty of ethical reasons to go vegan, the experience certainly isn’t without its sacrifices. For example, you’ll be missing out on the chance to carve into a perfectly charred steak and salivate as the treasure hidden inside reveals itself to you. “This is fine. I enjoy this actually,” you tell yourself as you bite into yet another asparagus stalk, ignoring the deep sense of yearning that hides within.

Well, thanks to some innovative thinking by Manhattan restaurant Duck’s Eatery, you can now enjoy watermelon prepared and arranged to look like a huge hunk of meat. The brainchild of Chef Will Horowitz, a meat maestro who once served slow-roasted goat neck to Guy Fieri, the watermelon’s exterior is charred to perfection, giving off the unmistakable appearance of a steak. Once it’s cut open, it’s ultra-rare, blood-red appearance still very plausibly passes as an underdone steak. Only the appearance of the occasional seed—and the sweet taste enjoyed by those brave enough to take a bite—gives away that this is anything other than a beautiful plate of beef.

As you might’ve guessed, the preparation process is remarkably similar to goes into preparing any of the many carnivorous items on the Duck’s Eatery menu. First, the rind is shaved off, so as to create a consistent bite and maintain the illusion. From there, Horowitz brines the fruit in a combination of ash(?!), salt, and spices to give it the exterior aesthetics and texture of a steak, from there, the whole thing spends eight hours in a smoker before it makes its way onto an intrigued diner’s plate.

So far, internet commenters seem either intrigued or else baffled by the concept. There’s no doubt that the sensory mismatch between the sweetness of a watermelon and the appearance of a steak might scramble the brain. Others who came across the above Instagram post seemed ready to throw out the abomination or even call the cops for the alleged deceit.

Though certainly not for everyone, there’s no doubt that the watermelon steak is an inventive concept, and a nod towards inclusivity for our vegan friends. And even if you’re repulsed by it, ordering one for a friend and filming their reaction would still make for a good prank.