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Watermelon History

Watermelon flesh is more than 90% water

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Watermelon Fruit

© 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Watermelon History

Watermelon's botanical name, Citrullus vulgaris, comes from the diminutive form of citrus, referring to the color and shape of the fruit, and vulgaris meaning common or ordinary fruit. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where its English common name, watermelon, comes from. The flesh of this succulent fruit is over 90 percent water.

Native to Africa, it was a valuable and portable source of water for desert situations and when natural water supplies were contaminated. Watermelons were cultivated in Egypt and India as far back as 2500 B.C. as evidenced in ancient hieroglyphics.

Using Watermelons

The most common usage of watermelon is to chill the melon and slice or cut into cubes for a quick cold snack or dessert. A popular American line dance honors the watermelon called the Watermelon Crawl. In Italy, watermelon pudding is a popular dessert usually made of watermelon, almonds, chocolate, and cinnamon. Watermelon's refreshingly sweet flesh is also wonderful as an ice and in mixed fruit and melon cups. A Southern favorite in the USA is pickles made from the watermelon rind.

Watermelon is also an excellent choice for those with artistic flair who enjoy making edible sculptures. The hollowed, carved rind makes a flattering basket for holding fruit salads and such. The Russians make a hearty beer from watermelon juice.

Watermelon Information and Watermelon Recipes

Watermelon Selection and Storage
Watermelon Varieties and Types
Watermelons and Health
Watermelon History
Make a Watermelon Basket - Step by step with photos
Watermelon Recipes
Watermelon Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Cookbooks

Chez Panisse Fruit
Nicole Routhier's Fruit Cookbook
Farmers Market Cookbook
Sweet and Sugarfree
More Cookbooks
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  6. All About the Watermelon - History and Usage

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