By Brandie Piper
Monsanto Corporate Engagement
(Originally published in Discover Monsanto)
You can slice it, cube it, or juice it and eat it with any meal or as a snack, and you can eat it at any time of day on any day of the year because they’re grown all over the world. It’s watermelon, and it’s nutritious, juicy, and delightful, containing more than 90 percent water, which makes it a perfect snack on hot summer days. Let’s take a look at how consumers around the world make the many types of watermelon a part of a balanced meal.
Although watermelon is grown around the world, countries have different preferences for their favorite types of watermelon when it comes to color and shape. In the United States, Americans tend to prefer either seeded or seedless medium-green watermelons with lighter green stripes. However, consumer trends are moving the market toward seedless watermelons. Contrary to some online chatter, seedless watermelons are not GMOs; they are a result of traditional breeding, much like seedless grapes are.
In Spain, melon eaters prefer their fruit seedless with dark green stripes on the rind. Mexicans like their watermelons large, oblong, and seeded, while Australians prefer a dark green, non-striped, seedless melon.
Japan has some of the most unique-looking watermelons around. Cube and other interesting-shaped watermelons are the most popular. The cube shape is achieved by growing the fruit in a square container and removing it from the vine once it has filled the box.
BBC News says the square shape was developed in the 1980s by a farmer who noticed consumers were frustrated with trying to fit large melons in their refrigerators and with the fruit rolling around while it’s being sliced. His solution was to grow the melon in a box that would fit on a refrigerator shelf, allowing the watermelon to conform to the shape of the box.
In addition to various rind colors and shapes, different types of watermelon also comes in a variety of flesh colors, including scarlet red, coral red, orange, salmon yellow, canary yellow, and white. Monsanto’s Seminis seed brand carries four varieties of watermelons in the United States, and they all feature pink flesh, mottle stripes and oblong shapes.
Regardless of which type of watermelon you choose to bring home, it’s certain to be a refreshing way to get your daily recommended intake of fruit. If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy your watermelon, check out the Illiana Watermelon Association’s list of recipes.