It’s probably not surprising that watermelons are 92% water. But did you know that there are more than 1,200 varieties of melon? These varieties can be sorted into just four categories: seeded, seedless, icebox, and yellow/orange.
No matter the melon, it is still a tasty summer treat. There are many ways to enjoy melons; they can be eaten by themselves or as part of a recipe. With National Melon Day on August 11, there’s plenty of time to learn more about this summer favorite.
- July is National Watermelon Month.
- Americans eat more watermelon than any other type of melon.
- Watermelons are both a fruit and a vegetable.
- Watermelons are the state vegetable of Oklahoma. It would have been named the state fruit, but that designation belonged to the strawberry.
- Ancient Egyptians cultivated melons since 2000 B.C.
- Melons were introduced to America by Spanish settlers during the 1400s and 1500s.
- These early explorers used melons as canteens.
- A couple of centuries later, cantaloupes were developed in Cantalup, Italy in the 1700s.
- Cantaloupes need to grow for three to four months before they can be picked.
- Once picked, cantaloupes will not continue to ripen.
- Melons are closely related to squash and cucumbers.
- Today, the most expensive melons are Yubari King melons. They are only grown in a small region of Japan. Two of three melons sold for more than $20,000.
- Farmers in Japan are growing watermelons into shapes. They started growing cubed watermelon so it would fit in a refrigerator. Now, Japanese farmers grow watermelons into various shapes such as hearts or even faces.
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These melon facts are sure to be a hit at the summer cookout!