If there isn’t a watermelon chilling in your fridge right now, you’re probably living in the southern hemisphere. Or, you ran out last night. Because how else could you not want this wonderful fruit as part of your life?
Here are some fun facts for you:
1. Watermelons originated in southern Africa, most likely in Namibia. The first recorded crops were in ancient Egypt, about 5000 years ago. Imagine chillin’ on the banks on the Nile with the Pharaohs and a slice or two of watermelon!
2. Watermelon, as implied by its name, is 92% water by weight. That’s pretty amazing, but it’s not the highest. Cucumbers and some types of lettuce be up to 96% water by weight.
3. Watermelon is a good source of lycopene, an important antioxidant that also happens to be responsible for the red color of watermelons (and tomatoes).
4. Seedless watermelons are something your grandparents did not enjoy growing up. They were “invented” 50 years ago by breeding 2 types of watermelons together to create a hybrid which is sterile. The soft white seedlings we sometimes see in seedless watermelons are incapable of sprouting. They are perfectly edible too.
5. There are other ways to enjoy watermelon besides the default, chilled solo configuration. Try it with low fat feta cheese for a sweet and salty flavor explosion in your mouth. Or check out a few interesting suggestions for soups, cocktails, and salads in this recent NY Times Piece. Just don’t buy a watermelon Oreo.
Are you a watermelon fan?