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The Watermelon: A Wonderful Fruit, Part 1 of 2

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The watermelon is one of the world’s most popular fruits. The famous US writer Mark Twain, a vegetarian, said this about the watermelon, “When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.”

With the scientific name Citrullus lanatus, the watermelon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae plant family that also includes cucumbers, squash, muskmelons, and gourds. In Oklahoma, USA, the watermelon was designated the official state vegetable in 2007. According to historians, the watermelon was a native of Southern Africa discovered over 5,000 years ago.

The Holy Bible mentions that after leaving Egypt, the Israelites missed some of the foods grown there, including watermelons. By the 7th century AD, watermelons appeared in Indian markets, and reached China around the 10th century. The Spaniards introduced the watermelon to North America, and it was seen in the New World as early as 1576. By the 17th century, the watermelon had become a typical plant in gardens throughout Europe, along with most other parts of the world.

There are many ways to enjoy watermelon. Apart from eating it fresh, we have some ideas to add extra flavor to your summer menu. You can dice watermelon into salads with tropical fruits or freeze the juice into popsicles. Or, add watermelon with other fruits into a blender to make a refreshing smoothie. Grilled watermelon steaks are fun and delicious too. Cut a watermelon into one-inch slices and marinate them in a mixture of vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for half an hour. Then grill them over high heat for two to four minutes on each side. How about watermelon salsa? Dice up watermelon, jicama and red onion. Add vegan brown sugar and lime juice, toss the ingredients together, top with cilantro, and dip with your favorite vegan chips.

Aside from its juicy sweetness, watermelons are pleasing to the eyes. Why not invite your friends and neighbors to a watermelon-themed party? You can carve and decorate the fruit together and explore creative ways to enjoy it. A party is a great way to meet new friends and share sumptuous vegan food.
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