Yellow Watermelon | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food TOP OF THE DAY: Yellow Watermelon – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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TOP OF THE DAY: Yellow Watermelon

Yellow Watermelon
[1] Yellow watermelon (photo © Good Eggs).

 

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day (July is National Watermelon Month).

A summer favorite, watermelon so refreshing because of its extremely high water content. (Like a glass of ice water, it’s even more refreshing when chilled.)

Watermelon is the juiciest of melons, about 92% water by weight. The water keeps the calorie count down: just 30 calories for 2/3 cup.

Watermelon is always welcome on the table, but you can add some excitement by seeking out yellow watermelon. It’s sweeter than the red variety.

Our tip: Check around for yellow watermelon. And while you’re add it, Why not mix yellow and red: on a platter of slices, in fruit salads and on skewers (how about with with ciliegine, small mozzarella balls?).

Yellow watermelons lack lycopene*, the compound (and antioxidant) that produces the red color in its sister watermelon, tomatoes and red grapefruit.
 
 
HOW DID RED WATERMELON BECOME YELLOW WATERMELON?

Most of us have only seen red watermelon. But beyond seeds-versus-seedless, there are more than 1,200 cultivars of watermelon, from pink flesh, orange flesh and white flesh to black rinds [source].

 
The exterior or yellow-flesh watermelons looks exactly like the red variety. The color of the flesh was a natural mutation in Africa, where watermelons originated and still grow in the wild.

The wild melons are a bitter fruit with hard, pale-green flesh. Over millennia, farmers produced the tempting fruit we know today.

First cultivated in Africa some 5,000 years ago, watermelon seeds have been found in King Tut’s tomb as well as in the villages of common folk.

As the melons were bred for rosier color over millennia, the lycopene content increased, resulting in the rosy red color of our current watermelons.

Yellow watermelon is prized for its sweetness. The yellow flesh has a sweeter, honey-like flavor as compared to red-fleshed melons, but the nutritional benefits are largely the same (the red flesh has more lycopene).
 
 
Watermelon Salad With Feta & Thai Basil
Watermelon Salad With Mozzarella & Pine Nuts
The History Of Watermelon
How To Select A Watermelon

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*Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid (a type of antioxidant) found in papayas, red grapefruits, tomatoes, watermelons and some other red fruits and vegetables—although it is not present in strawberries or cherries. (What’s up with that, Mother Nature?) It’s also found in some pink foods, such as pink grapefruit and pink guava. Foods that are not red, such as asparagus and parsley, also contain lycopene. Diets rich in lycopene may help prevent the development of prostate cancer. It may also protect against cancers of the lungs, breasts and kidneys [source].

  




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