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Who Discovered Watermelon?

A common type of melon, watermelon is believed to have originated from the southern parts of Africa. Its fruit has a fleshy center and thick rind. Furthermore, it has a sweet and juicy interior flesh as well as a smooth exterior rind. The usual colors of its flesh are pink, yellow and orange. Meanwhile, the rind comes in shades of white, yellow and green. Aside from its reputation as one of the most delicious fruits, it is good to know its other aspects including who discovered watermelon.

The Discovery of Watermelon

Who discovered watermelon? In 1882, French-Swiss botanist Alphonse de Candolle proved that this fruit was indigenous to Africa. Because of its maximum genetic diversity, various tastes of this fruit emerged, some of which were bitter, others bland as well as sweet varieties. There are reports that it was first cultivated in the Nile Valley some time in the second millennium B.C. Seeds of watermelon were found inside the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, who ruled from 1333 B.C. to 1324 B.C.

Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details

In the 1950s, watermelon was introduced to the Indians of North America. During that time, historical records written by French explorers showed that the fruit was cultivated in the Mississippi Valley. A southern food historian named John Egerton reported the possibility that the fruit was introduced to the country through African slaves.

Nowadays, more or less 44 U.S. states commercially grow watermelons. The largest producers in the country are Texas, Florida and Georgia. In addition, Arizona and California are also considered amongst the top producers of the nation. In Japan, people plant cubic watermelons with the aid of glass boxes.

Aside from its juicy, sweet and highly pleasant taste, many people love to eat this fruit because of its high nutritional content. In terms of composition, a single fruit is made up of 92 percent water and only about 6 percent sugar. Because of these features, people turn it into smoothies, drinks and other beverages for the hot summer season. This fruit serves as a very good source of vitamin C.

Today, there are about 1,200 varieties of this fruit. Some of the most interesting variants are the Orangeglo, Yellow Crimson Watermelon and Carolina Cross. Likewise, you can also try other tasty and unique variants such as the Densuke Watermelon, Melitopolski and the Cream of Saskatchewan. In Vietnam, part of its culture is to consume the seeds of watermelon as part of the New Year’s celebration. In Oklahoma, watermelon is officially considered a vegetable instead of a fruit.

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