Fruit and Vegetables

Grow the watermelon

Grow watermelon or watermelon

The watermelon, commonly also called watermelon, or water melon, or mellone, is the fruit of an annual herbaceous plant, native to central Africa, widespread in cultivation throughout the globe; the botanical name is citrullus lanatus, and develops as a climbing plant, or prostrate, which produces large palmate leaves of light green color, and twining stems, which can cling to supports by means of tendrils. The plant is very similar to that of the cucumber, although the dimensions are decidedly greater, and a single watermelon plant can spread over several square meters of land. In late spring, or in summer, the flowering begins, with the production of wide yellow flowers, typical of cucurbits; the flowers are followed by a very large fruit, which can reach 20 kg in weight, with a rounded, oval or elongated shape. The watermelon, or watermelon, is technically a pepo, or a very large and heavy fruit, rich in water, which reveals a light, striped, quite thick skin on the outside; inside the flesh is juicy and crunchy, and contains many seeds. Watermelon is commonly cultivated in varieties that produce fruits with red flesh, but there are species and varieties with greenish, yellow or orange flesh; similarly, the seeds can be black, yellow or white; but in general the fruits spread in cultivation have typical black seeds.

Unfortunately watermelons cannot be preserved in any way; once ripe, the fruits should be consumed quickly, within a few days, otherwise the pulp tends to become soft and over time it ferments. From the pulp it is possible to extract the juice, which however is not very successful, except in the preparation of slush or sorbets. You can also prepare jam with watermelon, but the water content is so high, over 90%, that the thickening operation of the jam is very prolonged, and therefore, it is difficult to prepare watermelon jams.
Traditionally, in Italy, the watermelon is kept in the refrigerator until it is consumed, so it is cut into wedges; only occasionally it is cut into cubes and added to fruit salads, although in fact, its sweet and unobtrusive taste should lead us to use it more often in summer salads. Only rarely is it used mixed with other fruit.
The most famous traditional Italian dish based on watermelon is mellone frost, a typical Sicilian sweet; it is essentially a pudding, or a jelly, prepared with the pulp of the watermelon, deprived of the seeds; often, to remind the fruit, chocolate puddings are added to the pudding, greedy replaced by dark seeds.