Facebook Twitter ShareAddThis
Watermelon From A to Z: 26 Interesting Things to Know

Watermelon From A to Z: 26 Interesting Things to Know

From Aspirin to Zentsuji, here are 26 facts and figures you've probably never heard about watermelon nutrition facts, recipes and history: enjoy all of them.

By FDL on

Aspirin. Watermelon contains natural salicylates, used in the pharmaceutical industry to make medicine, especially aspirin. If you're sensitive to salicylates, you could be watermelon-intolerant.

Baller. The formal name for a melon baller is Parisienne scoop, a spoon-like tool used to make balls of fruit flesh.

Crimson Sweet. Perhaps the most common watermelon variety, an American cultivar. Round or oval with dark green skin, light green stripes and deep crimson flesh. The Sugar Baby is smaller, rounder and without stripes.

Densuke. This Japanese variety only grows on Hokkaido Island. In 2008, one of the crop's first specimens was sold at an auction for 650,000 yen (over 4,700 euros) making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold.

Energy. Although it does contain few calories (30 per 100 grams), a single slice of watermelon can increase energy levels by 23% thanks to the vitamin B6 it contains, which the body uses to synthesize dopamine.

Fitness. Best eaten alone for its tendency to slow down the digestion of other foods, watermelon will give you a certain degree of satiety, making it ideal for curbing your appetite in-between meals.

God. The ancient Egyptians described in writing that they cultivated watermelons over 5000 years ago: according to Egyptian legend, spilled seed of the god Seth gave birth to watermelon plants. The fruit was often placed in the pharaohs' tombs as a means for nutritional sustenance on their journey to the afterlife.

Hundred. The watermelon plant is very prolific: a single specimen can produce up to 100 fruits.

Ierotose. What melon is called in Southern Africa by the ethnic Twana people of Botswana, who consider the fruit sacred and purifying.

Jelly. Jelu i muluni is a typical Palermitan specialty, a chilled gelatinous dessert made from watermelon juice, served in small cups and decorated with mixed candied fruit and chocolate drops.

Kalahari. David Livingstone (1813–1873), the famous explorer of Africa, reported that watermelons grew in abundance in the Kalahari Desert, where the fruit also seems to have originated. The Kalahari Melon or Citron Melon is the watermelon's ancestor, a wild-growing fruit with a denser pulp and a stronger taste, which is mostly eaten cooked.

Lycopene. The bright pigment that gives watermelon its red color, also found in tomatoes. A potent antioxidant.

Melitopolski. A variety from the Volga River region in Russia, bearing small fruits only 28-30 cm in diameter. Another small Russian cultivar (25 cm) is the Cream of Saskatchewan, currently grown in Canada.

Ninety. The watermelon easily reaches 20 kilos, but several of its 1,200-plus varieties can exceed 90 kilos. The world record is held by Chris Kent from Tennessee, who produced one weighing 132 kilos in 2010.

Orangeglo. Oblong and relatively small (9-14 kilos), has a very sweet orange pulp.

Pepo. The watermelon is a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, a false berry with a thick rind (exocarp) and a fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp).

Queensland. The city of Chinchilla (Queensland, Australia), which produces 25% of the country's melons, including watermelons, holds a biannual festival with unique entertainment. One event is Melon Head Smashing, the Guinness world record of which is held by John Allwood, who cracked 47 per minute in 2009.

Ripe. How does one recognize a ripe and tasty watermelon? The stalk mustn't be dry. If juice leaks from where the stem is or was attached, it means the fruit is ripe and sugary. Another trick is the classic hollow sound obtained by lightly knocking on the outside. The presence of yellow or greenish spots is also a positive sign.

Syracuse. Sicilian watermelon from the city of Syracuse, oblong with alternating light and dark green stripes, is a traditional Italian farm product.

Tết. During the Vietnamese New Year, a traditional snack consists in roasted watermelon seeds.

Unique. Is how many people describe the flavor and consistency of watermelon steak, a grilled slice with a taste comparable to seared steak.

Vegetables. Watermelon is paired with different vegetables in many hearty watermelon recipes: cucumbers and lettuce, or tomatoes and onions, and accompanied by rice, fish, or cheese such as goat cheese or feta.

Water. Watermelon is 94% water, clearly making it one of the most thirst–quenching fruits, also helping against water retention.

Xxx. Many consider watermelon to be a remedy for male erectile problems, even comparing it to Viagra. There is a base of truth: watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid considered aphrodisiac for its ability to dilate blood vessels. Unfortunately, citrulline is more concentrated in the rind than in the flesh.

Yellow Crimson. A variety with yellow flesh, described as having a honey-like, sweeter taste than regular watermelons.

Zentsuji. Japanese farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons at the end of the 1990s. However, an Italian producer, Franco Feroldi, claims he invented square-shaped watermelons in 1995 in order to load them more easily in the trunk of the car.

Register or login to Leave a Comment.