The watermelon grows on vines on the ground. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and is related to cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin. Some varieties of watermelon come with a variety of rind and flesh colors. The inside flesh of the popular varieties are red or yellow. The watermelon grows in many different shapes. Watermelon has 92% water. Watermelon contains vitamins A, B6 and C. You can eat every part of a watermelon, including the seeds and rinds.
Thought to be the ancestor of the original watermelon, the
white-skinned citron first grew in the Kalahari Desert of Africa.
Egyptians recorded the earliest harvest of them 5,000 years ago.
Watermelons were depicted in hieroglyphics that adorned the ancient
walls of their structures. They buried the fruit in the tombs of
their kings, because they believed it nourished them in the
Watermelons spread by merchant ships to other countries as they
traveled to conduct their business. The plants flourished along the
Mediterranean Sea, and by the 10th century they made their way to
China. Later in the 13th century the Moors helped spread the
watermelon throughout Europe.
The watermelon may have made its way to the United States during the
African slavery trade via slaves carrying the seeds on the ships.
The word watermelon made its first debut in the English Dictionary
in 1615. There are five states that currently lead watermelon
production in the US - Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and
Arizona. The United States ranks as number four in worldwide
production of watermelon. China is number one. 96 countries grow
watermelons globally. Chinese and Japanese often give watermelons to
the host when they visit. Israelis and Egyptians enjoy salads made
with sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese.
Watermelons come in 1200 different varieties. Recent cultivations
led to development of several desirable characteristics of the
fruit, including seedless varieties and ones with thin rinds.