People Are Putting Mustard on Watermelon—Is It Actually Delicious?

We tried the trend and have some thoughts.

mustard on watermelon
Photo: Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

If there's one thing you can count on, it's TikTok regularly bestowing a fascinating new food trend upon the world. In recent years, the social app has been virally overtaken by melting potatoes, feta pasta (we leveled it up with pimento cheese), and "perfect" quesadillas (our version was fried, of course), but a craze involving a certain summer fruit might just take the cake.

The trend on offer: Yellow mustard drizzled on fresh watermelon.

The hashtag #watermelonmustard has nearly 50 million views, and it even inspired Lizzo to do a taste test on TikTok (spoiler alert: she was more perplexed than pleased). While the pairing may seem quite odd, if we inspect the flavor profile of the mash-up, it might not be completely flawed.

You probably know that Southerners love sprinkling salt on watermelon, because the salt enhances the melon's sweetness and cuts its sometimes-bitter kick. Further proof of sweet and savory as a winning combination are this delicious watermelon and feta salad and watermelon with tajin.

But mustard? Yellow mustard's ingredient list includes distilled vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, and garlic powder, giving it a tart and tangy flavor profile that excels at livening up burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salad dressings, and … watermelon?

To find out what the fuss is about, we put the trend to the test. The result: Similar to Lizzo, we were a bit perplexed and needed to take several bites of the strange combination to come to a conclusion. One tester said "I'm glad I tried it, but it won't be my go-to." Another gave it a "fair" rating, but said the mustard didn't particularly enhance the watermelon and preferred her watermelon solo.

Instead of slathering mustard on top of fresh watermelon, we might suggest a fresh summer salad topped with watermelon chunks and a light drizzle of vinaigrette that happens to include a bit of mustard. This option is a safe and universally palette-pleasing way to go.

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