Sometimes I find inspiration in the strangest of places.

That is, in fact, a stick of gum. But it’s not just any gum, mind you, it’s inspirational gum. Now, not to get all Violet Beauregarde on you, but so long as it’s gum, it’s for me & this gum in particular made me recall one of my favorite summer dishes.

Let me backtrack for a minute. Wrigley has this new line of chewing sticks that are supposed to awaken the 5 senses. Aptly named, this specimen of the 5 line is Prism: An Electric Watermelon. I’m not actually a big chewer of fruity gum, but this one called to me, so I picked up the phone. Mostly it tastes like watermelon, as you might expect, but I began to notice my lips tingling & I thought to myself, “This gum totally has capsaicin in it!” I mean, not so much that it’s spicy, but just enough that when chewing you suddenly realize that your lips are tingly.

My first thought was to wrap sticks of Prism around cubes of feta for a finishing course; but, that was a stupid idea.

Back to the inspiration at hand, one my favorite dishes of the summer: watermelon/tomato/feta salad. It’s truly awesome, but tomatoes aren’t good enough yet to join the party, so I decided to make a watermelon/feta salad with far more black pepper than you’d think should be included. I threw in some arugula sprouts b/c I thought they might add an extra zing (fyi–they really didn’t; I’d leave them out next time).

After I’d added black pepper til my conscience couldn’t take it anymore, I still didn’t have the zing for which I longed. One pinch of cayenne fixed that + a sprinkle of Red Wine Vin and a drizzle of EVOO and the salad was savory, salty, sweet & spicy. In a word: delicious.


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