Tue July 29, 2014
If you’re a faithful reader of WFAEats – and we really hope you are – by now you’ve learned that nearly every food has its own holiday that celebrates it.
National Watermelon Day is August 3.
This juicy fruit we associate with summer fun has an illustrious history. Experts believe watermelons originated in Africa. As far back as 5,000 years ago, Egyptians harvested these fruits and recorded the events in hieroglyphics on walls. Trade ships brought watermelons to ports around the world.
A watermelon is 92% water, and aptly named. That’s why eating it on a hot summer day helps you stay hydrated.
And contrary to Mom’s warnings, swallowing the seeds will not cause a melon to grow in your stomach.
A watermelon is incredibly versatile. You can slice it open and eat it without doing a single thing to it. You can use it in salads, soups, main dishes, desserts, cocktails – we even found a recipe for deep fried watermelon. You can carve it like a pumpkin or pickle the rind. Most sold in stores these days are seedless varieties, but if you get the kind full of shiny black seeds, you can spit them out into a patch of your garden and grow more watermelons.
If you need more inspiration for your watermelon celebration, check out the National Watermelon Promotion Board where you’ll find fun facts, games for kids, and plenty of recipes. Here’s one to get you started.
Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa
3 cups de-seeded and chopped watermelon
1/2 cup diced green peppers
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon diced cilantro
1 tablespoon diced green onion
1 – 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño peppers
Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or more. Makes 3 cups. Serve with chips or as a garnish for chicken and fish.