The watermelon, a simple everyday fruit that, in my opinion easily makes it into my top 5.
Either the fruit or the juice is a cool refreshing option on those hot summer days – or lazing beside the pool.
Whether blitzed, chunked or as a mixer, this fruit really does epitomize summertime.
Here were going to look at 12 mouth-watering facts about the watermelon.
The most expensive watermelon ever sold was a Densuke, auctioned in 2008 for a staggering Y650,000 or $6300 it was one of the first harvested in Hokkaido. This Japanese fruit is pure black and averages a price of $250 per fruit! In 2014 Japan’s obsession with auctioning this fruit for extortionate prices continued with one specimen from Toma, Hakkaido being sold for Y350,000 or $3000.
The watermelons origins are much unknown, many theories are held around the world but the big contender is that this fruit is thought to originate in Egypt around 4000 years ago. Hieroglyphs and images are found all around Egyptian tombs and paintings including King Tuts very own. The main theory that the Egyptians cultivated the same fruit we know today is all down to one image that depicts an oblong fruit much like the one we all recognize.
Watermelons, and in particular their seeds, are held highly across Asia for their flavor and are often a vital part of celebrating national holidays. In china the seeds are eaten during Chinese New Year and in Vietnam during their New Year celebration Tết, the seeds are a tasty snack.
In 2014 a man was allegedly arrested after his partner felt threatened when returning home to find a watermelon stabbed with a butcher’s knife. The woman who had recently attempted to turn the man in for drug offenses following the discovery of marijuana came home to find the impaled fruit and felt it was left there to intimidate her. The suspect came in and apparently started cutting up the fruit, he was later bailed.
Watermelons always seem to be the go-to-fruit for any chopping, smashing, slashing or squeezing demos and there are an array of world records for doing just that. In 2014, Olga Liashchuk crushed 3 watermelons with her bare thighs in 14.65 seconds and in 2006 Leonardo D’Andrea smashed 10 watermelons with his head in 16 seconds, both securing Guinness World Records for their efforts.
Watermelons can be kept edible for months if kept at the right conditions, the Egyptians, and many other cultures, cultivated this plant just for this very reason. With water being so short, and watermelon being over 91% water, the fruit could keep fresh and utilized during times of draught by smashing it to a pulp and drained. According to the National Geographic, this technique was demonstrated to one of their reporters in 1924 in the Sudan.
What fruit poses a risk to Israeli security? The watermelon of course. Apparently a Palestinian man was refused entry to his home in Hebron in June 2016 after he tried to cross a closed military zone with a watermelon. The man, melon in hand, wanted to enter the zone to go home was told by 25 Israeli soldiers he wouldn’t be entering and was made to stand there for 4 hours awaiting a decision to let him pass.
The watermelon contains over 91% water, this level is the same as that found in the human brain and this means the fruit is recognized as one of the best in the world for hydration.
Watermelons are a medicinal marvel supposedly helping in an array of different ways. The juice can reduce muscle soreness as it contains Citrulline which lowers blood pressure, it can improve eyesight and eye health as it’s so high in Vitamin A, and due to the high concentration of Lycopene, a phytochemical, it can lower the risk of cancer.
Even though we all have the same image come into our heads when we think of the humble watermelon we couldn’t be further from the truth for many of the species of this fantastic fruit. There are over 1200 varieties of watermelon all differing in texture, taste and appearance, some being solid black like the densuke and some having yellowish flesh like the orangeglo. Over 300 varieties are grown in the U.S. alone.
In 2013 in Tennessee USA, Christopher Kent set the Guinness World Record for the largest and heaviest watermelon in the world, weighing an unbelievable 350.5 lbs (159 kg), to put this in perspective the average watermelon weighs in at 25 lbs (11.33 kg) so Chris’ specimen was 14 times heavier!
Pac-Man was the first time the watermelon made a video game appearance. In the 1980 Namco cult classic the watermelon is the highest scoring prize, it can be eaten during gameplay for a 1000 point boost. The watermelon has now appeared in hundreds of games.
Whether you hate it or love it, one thing’s for sure, the watermelon really is a huge hit worldwide.
Albeit $5 from the local supermarket or $6,000, this watery fruit really has got an array of uses and the list of facts I’ve given above barely scratched the surface.
The watermelon has been held highly throughout the ages and now with brands jumping on the watermelon bandwagon of late with new drink concoctions (Jack Daniels) or vaping liquid I don’t see the craze going away any time soon.
So grab a wedge, sit down with a nice book and enjoy…
Oh and if you visit a friend why not take one along, that’s the traditional gift for a host in Japan.