EN on Foods

August 2010 Issue

Watermelon, Summer’s Antioxidant Splash

True to its name, the watermelon has long been esteemed for its high water content. Its reputation as a "living canteen" began in Africa where it originated, and then spread to Egypt where it was first cultivated over 5,000 years ago. Depicted in hieroglyphs and buried in tombs of Egyptian kings, this thirst-quenching fruit was equally well-regarded in Mediterranean countries where water was scarce. Around the globe this plump melon sparks tradition, from the refined Japanese custom of gifting the finest specimen, to American size competitions and seed-spitting contests.

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