History of the Watermelon
What comes to your mind when summer is mentioned? Sunshine, vacation, and plenty of watermelon to quench the summer heat. As you anticipate the juicy sweetness to enter your mouth, do you wonder where this fruit came from? Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant that first originated in the continent of Africa Archaeologists found evidence of the cultivation of watermelons in Egypt that dated back to the second millennium. The seeds of watermelons were found in the tomb of the famous Pharaoh Tutankhamen.
In European history and culture, watermelon was mentioned in the Bible as the food the ancient Israelites ate when they were slaves in Egypt. By the 10th century, the Chinese were growing this type of fruit; to this day, the country of China is the single largest watermelon producer in the world. In the 1200s, Moorish invaders brought the fruit to Europe. In addition, the word “watermelon” first appeared in an English dictionary in 1615. In the 16th century, watermelons were grown by Native Americans; early French explorers discovered that the fruit was cultivated in the Mississippi Valley.
Many historians believe watermelon was introduced to the northern state of Massachusetts at around 1629. In addition, it is believed that both African slaves and European travelers brought this fruit to the United States. In America today, farmers from around 44 states grow watermelon for commercial purposes. The states of Georgia, Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona are the U.S.
‘s largest watermelon producers. Who knew watermelon had such a long and interesting history? You will never see this delicious treat the same way again!