Summer is here!
Watermelons are everywhere.
BBQs, picnics, afternoon snacks, fruit salads and delicious ice pops; watermelons are one of the most versatile melons and by far one of the most popular around the world.
THE HISTORY OF THE WATERMELON
The Citrullus lanatus, the watermelon, is related to the refreshing cucumber (also full of water), and was not always so red and juicy. It actually grew in the wild in West Africa and has since been cultivated and bred for juiciness and by now even as a seedless variety; not to mention the square versions in Japan.
There is evidence that the early watermelons were cultivated in the Nile Valley and seeds from these species were found in the tomb of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun.
Many different "versions" of this fruit gathered almost a cult-like following. The "Bradford Watermelon", an heirloom variety bred and cultivated in the 1850s, was known as the sweetest and most flavorful type cultivated in South Carolina and people literally died for this melon, trying to steal it from growers and escape their many "security measures" (things like electrified wire, poisons, gunmen and more).
THE FOUR MAIN TYPES OF WATERMELON
There are thousands of varieties of watermelon but there are 4 main "types".
Icebox Watermelon - ranging from 5 to 15 pounds it allows them to fit more easily in the refrigerator. Bred to feed a single person or a small family.
Picnic Watermelon - For a large group, such as a picnic, these watermelons, on average, weigh between 15 to 50 pounds.
Seedless Watermelon - Although not truly seedless these 10 to 20 pounders are just as sweet as the "seeded" variety.
Yellow-Orange Watermelon - Weighing anywhere from between 10 to 30 pounds the flesh of these watermelons can range from golden to to orange and can either be seedless or with seeds.
TOP BENEFITS OF EATING WATERMELON
1. Helps you hydrate
2. May help relieve muscle soreness
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins B1
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Citrulline (aminoacid)
4. Is good for skin and hair
5. May improve heart health
6. May lower Oxidative Stress
7. May help prevent macular degeneration
8. May lower inflammation
So enjoy yourself a slice, whirl it up in a smoothie, make some fruit ice pops or even chop it up and add it to a salad with some fresh feta cheese and mint - yum!