Ode to Watermelon
Watermelon...it's a slight obsession. I could eat watermelon ALL DAY LONG. I buy at least 2 at a time in the summer because I can go through one a day! Here are some fun facts about watermelon:
* Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn't contain any fat or
cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium.
*Watermelon contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable.
* Watermelon's official name is Citrullus lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitacae and it is a vegetable. It is related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
* The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.
* A watermelon was once thrown at Roman Governor Demosthenes during a political debate. Placing the watermelon upon his head, he thanked the thrower for providing him with a helmet to wear as he fought Philip of Macedonia.
* Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
* The word "watermelon" first appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.
* Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide.
* In China and Japan watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
* In Israel and Egypt, the sweet taste of watermelon is often paired with the salty taste of feta cheese.
* In 1990, Bill Carson, of Arrington, Tennessee, grew the largest watermelon at 262 pounds that is still on the record books according to the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
* In 1999 over 4 billion pounds of watermelon were produced in the United States.
* Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide.
* Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
And believe it or not, there is actually a National Watermelon Promotion Board.