The Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is actually a vegetable not a fruit. It comes from the cucurbitaceae family which are relatives of the squash, pumpkin and cucumber. It is thought that the watermelon originated from the Kalahari Desert in Africa.
Every part of a watermelon is edible; the flesh, seeds and even the rind. With over 1200 varieties grown worldwide they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Round, oblong and spherical. The rind can be plain in colour, spotted or stripped. Sizes can range from around 1kg to 14kg and even larger.
A watermelon is 92% water and 8% sugar so it is no surprise that is a healthy food choice. It contains no fat or cholesterol and is high in fibre, Vitamins A & C and a great source of Potassium and Magnesium. Many health professionals say a watermelon is among the top ten ‘best foods’ available.
You may be surprised to know that watermelon is extremely fragile. The hard exterior can fool you into thinking that this protects the inner flesh, but infact they should be treated like eggs. Once a melon has been bruised it causes the inner flesh to go mushy.
A watermelon can be stored for up to 2 weeks in a cool dark place. Once you have cut into the melon it should be wrapped and stored in the fridge and eaten within a couple of days.