Watermelon
WATERMELON.
INTRODUCTION

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The watermelon also known as sideburn, water melon or melancia, is one of the fruits of major size of all that they are known and it can reach up to 10 kilos in weight. It is the fruit of the sandiera, plantade the family of the Cucurbitaceous ones, which includes approximately 850 species of herbaceous plants that produce fruits generally of big size and protected by a hard crust.




ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The watermelon is considered to be original of countries of tropical Africa and his cultivation goes back for centuries to the bank of the Nile, where from it spread to numerous regions washed by the Mediterranean Sea. The European settlers were who took it up to America, where his cultivation spread over the whole continent. Nowadays it is one of the fruits most spread over the world, and the principal producing countries are: Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, China and Japan.

There is had steadfastness of more than fifty varieties of watermelon, which qualify according to the form of his fruits, the color of the pulp, the color of the skin, the weight, the period of maturation, etc. Genetically two types of watermelons exist:


Watermelons diploides or with seeds: there are the cultivated varieties traditionally, which produce black or brown seeds of woody consistency. According to the form of his fruits we find:

Elongated fruits: of green crust with bands of clearer color. They are called melonas. In Spain scarcely they are cultivated. There stand out the guys Klondike and Charleston Gray.

Round fruits: of crust of dark green or black color, there are the most cultivated copies although they are being displaced by the varieties without seeds. They stand out: Crimson Sweet (Almeria), Resistent (Valencia), Sugar Baby (Italy, Greece, Turkey and Spain - Almeria and Valencia-), Dulce Maravilla or Sweet Marvell and Early Star, between the most well-known and most cultivated.

Watermelons triploides or without seeds: It is a question of varieties that have a few tender seeds of white color that happen unnoticed on having eaten the fruit. They are characterized for having the clear green crust with dark green streaks and the meat can be of red or yellow color. They stand out: Queen of Hearts (Almeria), Apirena, Jack and Pepsin, between others.

HIS BEST EPOCH

The watermelons cultivated outdoors bloom between spring ends and summer beginning, therefore the fruits are in his ideal ripeness point throughout the whole summer and autumn beginning. Nevertheless, the watermelon is cultivated in hothouse, for what is easy to have copies throughout the whole year.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: the fruit or watermelon, which botánicamente it is named "pepónide", can have rounded, oval or cylindrical form flattened by the ends.

Size and weight: it is one of the biggest fruits that take place with a size of up to 30 centimeters in diameter, and although they can reach a weight of up to 15 ó 20 kilograms, the destined ones for the commerce usually weigh between 3 and 8 kilos. The watermelons are calibrated by a number, according to the weight of the pieces: 6 (pieces from 1,5 to 2,4 kilos), 5 (pieces from 2,5 to 3,2 kilos), 4 (pieces from 3,3 to 4,2 kilos) and 3 (pieces from 4,3 to 5,5 kilograms). The future perspectives as for the commercialization take root in the size of the fruit, since this one has the problem of being too big for the familiar sizes of the European society, which are diminishing greatly. It is by it that in the future the cultivation tendency is directed to produce fruits of small size (2 kilos or low).

Color: his crust is smooth, it lasts and of approximately 2-4 centimeters of thickness and his color it changes between dark green, light green or yellow, and even can have motes of yellowish, greyish or light green color. In his interior the pulp meets a very attractive reddish or pink coloration, although varieties exist with pulp of intense and even orange yellow color. In the pulp of some varieties there are spread numerous black, brown or white seeds.

Flavor: the pulp has a watery, porous, very juicy texture. It is refreshing and in general it has a delightful sweet flavor.


HOW TO CHOOSE IT AND TO PRESERVE IT


We know if a watermelon is mature if the spot of the rind that has been in contact with the soil is of creamy yellow color. A white or greenish spot indicates that he retired before time and it will turn out to be insipid, since the watermelon is not climacteric fruit, I motivate for which, so that it is of good quality it has to be gathered when it is completely mature. The trick to choose a mature watermelon is that, on having beaten him with the fingers or the palms of the hands this one sounds to "hollow". His surface does not have to present scars, burns of the sun, graze, dirty areas, bruises or other defects. If a sliced watermelon is acquired, it is convenient to make sure that the meat is firm and juicy.


The watermelon is a fruit that survives in the perfect state for two weeks if it supports some 15°C, and up to three weeks to 7-10°C. Because it is very sensitive to the cold it must not be supported to low temperatures to 7-10ºC. His thick crust allows him to last in good conditions for enough days to environmental temperature.


Many watermelons embark without cooling or without refrigeration and one keeps them like that during the transit, therefore they must sell to themselves quickly since his quality it diminishes very rapidly under these circumstances.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 20,3
Carbohydrates (g) 4,5
Fibre (g) 0,3
Potassium (mg) 88,5
Magnesium (mg) 11
Acid fólico (mcg) 3
Beta - caroteno (provitamina A) (mcg) 18
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


The watermelon one can say that it is the fruit that more water quantity contains (93 %), therefore his caloric value is much low, scarcely 20 calories for 100 grams. The levels of vitamins and mineral salt are slightly excellent, being the potassium and the magnesium those who more stand out, although in low quantities compared with other fruits. The pink color of his pulp owes to the presence of the pigment licopeno, substance with antirust capacity. The potassium is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell.




AS REGARDS THE HEALTH
The facility that offers this fruit to be consumed, since it does not need to be peeled, turns it into an ideal dessert for the smallest, and considering the soft texture of his pulp this fruit is indicated for those who have difficulties to chew the food. His high water contribution they turn it into a powerful moisturizing one, and therefore, into a fruit especially indicated during his period for the biggest persons, who usually show displeasure to take enough liquids. Two good watermelon slices fulfill to a water glass, and with the pleasure of tasting a refreshing, sweet and tasty fruit. In general, it turns out to be easy to digest, although it can turn out to be indigestible for certain persons if they consume it after the meals, because his high water contribution dilutes the gastric juices and delays the digestion of the food, what provokes the consequent sensation of indigestion and distension.

Also, it turns out to be a magnificent diuretic, that is to say, the urine production increases, by what his consumption is indicated for whom they endure kidney stones, high uric acid, hypertension and other illnesses that they study with liquids retention. It turns out to be interesting to eat abundant watermelon after a day of nutritive excesses, since to the being diurética, favors the elimination of substances of waste for the urine, therefore it turns out to be a perfect help like desintoxicante.

This fruit is ideal in the slimming diets, since it is possible to consume double quantity of watermelon than of many other fruits, without the calories increasing especially.

Licopeno

The varieties of watermelon which pulp is of pink and red color, are considered to be a moderate licopeno source. Numerous scientific studies have revealed that the licopeno has antirust properties and that, including in the diet food rich in the above mentioned substance, like the watermelon, there diminishes the risk of certain types of cancer in general, and of pancreas, lung, colon and of prostate, in particular. A high licopeno level in the blood plasma collaborates especially with a minor incidence of the latter type of cancer. Also, the licopeno, for his antirust activity, acts against the free radicals, substances harmful to the organism, what justifies the role of the consumption of watermelon in the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. On the other hand, the studies continued on the carotenoides, between which the licopeno is, offer tests that endorse the existence of a series of biological actions of these substances, like beneficial effects on the immune system and the control of the growth and of the cellular differentiation.

Since it is one of the least abundant fruits in potassium, the persons who suffer from renal insufficiency and continue a diet controlled in this mineral, they can consume it moderately, but in major quantity than most of the fruits.


CURIOSITIES
In some countries of Africa, the watermelon is the ideal substitute for the water in the drought periods.


HOW TO PREPARE IT

The watermelon turns out to be ideal to calm the thirst, and together with the melon she is the queen of the summer fruits. Due to his powerful refreshing flavor, also it is used to prepare with her delightful sherbets, ice creams and juices accompanied by orange juice or milk. Watermelons varieties exist adapted to do jams.

This fruit does not offer to realize with her prepared culinary plates, but it limits itself to the almost exclusive use of dessert, since the watermelon cut in slices or buckets gets damaged quickly and the pulp becomes watery and floury.

In Russia it is very popular to consume a wine that is prepared by means of watermelon juice.




SHERBET OF WATERMELON

4
30'
way

Ingredients

- 750 grams of watermelon without rind
- 150 grams of sugar
- 1 cider small glass

To put to the fire in a ladle a glass of water and the sugar. To warm up to obtaining a soft syrup. To clean the watermelon of the seeds, to cut to pieces and to crush with the mixer. In a suitable receptacle for the freezer, to put the crushed watermelon and to add the syrup and the cider. To rummage well and to set in the freezer. When there is almost frozen to crush the pasta and to put it again in the freezer. To extract of the freezer a little bit before consuming it and to have in 4 dessert glasses.



 
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