The fruit and vegetable lexicon
Watermelon - Fruits
DescriptionThe watermelon Citrullus Lanatus, or Citrullus Vulgaris, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family such as melon, pumpkin or cucumber.
OriginsOriginally from Africa, watermelon was already cultivated in Egypt 5,000 years ago. This fruit was traditionally offered to travelers at the gates of the desert. As watermelon seeds were easily transportable, the cultivation of this fruit could spread from Mesopotamia to the Far East, through India and Africa. This cultivation subsequently spread to all Mediterranean regions. By the 16th century, British explorers discovered watermelon and brought it to Europe and its American colonies.
CharacteristicsAn impressive fruit of the Cucurbitaceae family, watermelon can weigh up to 5 kg and owes its Anglo-Saxon name of watermelon to its very important water content, which corresponds to 92% of its essence. It is a juicy and refreshing fruit. It is among the least carbohydrate-rich fruits but owes its surprisingly sweet taste to its fructose-glucose ratio. It contains few minerals, only 400 mg per fruit. However, it contains more than 100 mg of potassium, 10 mg of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, as well as various trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Commonly consumed in the summer, usually as fresh slices, diced in mixed fruit salads, or as juice.
Other factsThree varieties exist today, depending on the color of the pulp and the seeds: First, the watermelon with red pulp and black seeds, of which the most common are the dark green Sugar Baby and the elongated Charleston with a marbling skin. Second, watermelon with yellow pulp and black or white seeds. Finally, watermelon with white pulp and red seeds.
ProductionChina is the world’s largest producer of this fruit. It harvests 68 million tons per year, or 70% of world production. Turkey occupies the second place with a production of 4 million tons. It is followed by Asia (Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and South Korea), North Africa (Morocco and Egypt) and the Americas (United States, Brazil and Mexico). France harvests 17,000 tons and every citizen buys about 1.4 kilos a year.
Seasonality of the product