There’s nothing refreshing of a slice of red watermelon in the hottest summer days.
This kind of summer fruit is rich of qualities and healthy properties that contribute the wellbeing of the body that make it perfect for each diet and food lifestyle. Wanna know something more about watermelon? Everything will be revealed in this little guide!
HOW MANY WATERMELON VARIETIES EXIST?
There are nearly 50 kind of watermelon (in latin Citrullus lanatus, originally coming from tropical Africa) that differ in weight, pulp and form. A study conducted by the American University (the Washington State University) showed that there are over 1200 watermelon varieties, sometimes with unnatural forms (cube or pyramidal) obtained by making the fruit directly growing in a box. Nowadays, you can find watermelons with red, orange, yellow or white pulp.
The main watermelon varieties, traditional ones excluded, are:
- Moon and star watermelon
Produced for the first time in Iowa in America, this watermelon has some characteristic yellow spot on the dark surface, as well as in the stars in the Milky Way. From here the name “Moon and star”: a unique, rare product, become today the emblem of the biodiversity. Did you ever eat it?
- Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon
This type of watermelon comes from the East and grows in cold areas: it is rounded and small, with a creamy pale-yellow pulp. To give you an idea: the peel is thinner than the one we’re used to, it is pale green (with darker stripes) and must be handled with care. It seems very good!
- Orangeglo watermelon
of Texan origin, with a big and long form, everyone likes it for its particularly sweet pulp and its orange and apricot color.
- Hokkaido (or Densuke black watermelon)
Like several typical gastronomic Japanese products, Hokkaido watermelon is the result of an extreme accuracy of details and environmental and atmospheric conditions in which it grows: everything contributes in making it one of the most wanted watermelons (and expensive) in the world. One Densuke can even cost up to 50 euros. A benefit? Its taste: they say it’s unequalled.
- Citron watermelon
It grows in the Kalahari Desert area, in South Africa in the wild. Citron is likely the ancestor of all watermelons: red seeds, yellow pulp, pale-green peel with yellow spots and an intense flavor. Seeing is believing!
- Golden midget watermelon
It looks like a pumpkin because of its intense-yellow peel, but it’s a full-fledged water melon: flavor and pulp (very crunchy) are the same as the common watermelon, usually consumed by the Europeans.
- Carolina cross watermelon
The biggest watermelon you can find on the market: completely alike to the common watermelon, with red pulp and green peel, it can easily grow up to 90 kilos per fruit. A record- breaking fruit!
- Bagnacavallo watemelon
Let’s come back to Italy, where the Bagnacavallo watermelon grew until few decades ago, when it was abandoned to give space to other watermelon types suitable for the large-scale distribution standards. It was two farmers from Romagna emigrated in Canada that brought the seeds overseas and recover the plantation. Nowadays the Bagnacavallo has come back to Italy: that’s a miracle of the organic farming!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATERMELON AND “COCOMERO”?
The difference between the two terms is only a semantic matter. In fact, watermelon means the same thing for both terms: therefore, both indicate the same fruit. From a technical and botanic point of view, it is more appropriate saying “cocomero” as suggests its latin origin “Cucumis citrullus”. The term simply changes among the various regions: in Northern Italy, for example, they say “anguria”, a term involved by right into the Italian language through the Venetian, which derives in turn from the Greek “angóuria”. In central and south Italy, they call it “cocomero”, from the Tuscan term.
HOW MANY CALORIES DOES A SLICE OF WATERMELON HAVE?
If you belong to the big fan of watermelon in the summertime and you eat it at the first opportunity, treasure this guide that explains how much watermelon you must eat and how many calories it contains each slice.
Since it is a fruit rich of water, watermelon contains few calories: nearly 30 kg-calories per 100 g pulp, 0,61 g proteins and 0,15 g fats. 100 g of watermelon pulp correspond to a small slice: nearly 8 little cubes of 2 cm one. Of 100 g, nearly 6-8 g are sugar! A watermelon slice won’t make you fatten, but several slices in one day are not the same as drinking a glass of water!
THE WATERMELON WHICH HELPS YOUR TAN
Nutritional properties and values mustn’t be underestimated: the watermelon is rich of potassium, a mineral useful to prevent muscles cramps; magnesium, important for energy production and other minerals such as calcium, sodium, phosphor and iron. Of relevant interest is also the supply of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E that, in addition to fight free radicals, fasten the beta-carotene assimilation: that’s why watermelon helps in protecting the skin from the sun and stimulate the tan.
HOW TO PICK A WATERMELON
Who didn’t buy a watermelon apparently red and juicy, only to find out that it tastes like nothing? We give you some tips to pick the perfect watermelon, the one that will make you make a good impression with your guests.
- Let’s start from the external part: the peel!
Don’t trust the smooth and shiny peel: a perfectly ripe watermelon has a dark and a bit unregular peel.
- Trust the old trick: knock!
Knock knock? Knock on the watermelon or tap on the peel is an always working old trick. If you hear a dull sound, as the fruit was “empty”, then it means that the watermelon is ripe enough.
- What’s the weight?
If it’s heavy, it’s rich of water: then it’s good, exactly how you want it. Try and lift it up!
- Don’t’ pick half watermelons!
Always try to buy the whole fruit, avoid the single slices and portions: they could be frozen. Watermelon immaculately preserve itself in its peel!
- The last, important, sign of tastiness: the stalk.
The small branch on the watermelon is called the stalk, that structure supporting the leaf when the watermelon is still underground. If the stalk isn’t dry, then the watermelon is fresh.
How to store watermelon
Nothing can be thrown away from the watermelon! Thanks to its dimension, usually the watermelon tends not to be wholly consumed in a few days. For this reason, it is important know how to store it. If it’s still intact, the watermelon can stay in a dry and cool place at room temperature for few days. If it’s already open, you can store it in the fridge (the old method of enveloping it in the wrap is a valid one) by taking care of not let it be cold for too many days. Otherwise, you can freeze the watermelon by dividing it in small cubes. Freezing watermelon is very simple, you will only have to peel it off and cut into small cubes and put them in the freezer. In alternative you can consume it by preparing a cool drink (try the watermelon juice adding a lemon or find out these 10 fruit and vegetables juices!) or making a granita.
3 WAYS OF SAY WATERMELON
Premise: the word “cocomero” derives from the Latin word cucumis that means cucumber. Only in Italy the same word has ten varieties of Spanish, Greek and Arabic origins. In English, anguria becomes “watermelon”, as well as in the south it becomes “melone d’acqua”, that in turn derives from the French word melon d’eau. In Spanish anguria is called “sandìa”, a term of Arabic origin that remind their corresponding Sardinian “sindrìa”. In French, watermelon is “melon d’eau”, a bit like in Naples.