Monday, August 28, 2006


The plant of the day for Fructidor 11 in the French Republican Calendar is the watermelon.
Did you know that it is a lycopene leader for fruit? More lycopene than tomatoes.

The National Watermelon Board provides instructions on how to choose, store and carve a watermelon:

They also provide directions and photographs of an amazing number of ways you can carve a watermelon including into a convertible bug, an airplane, a football helmet and the traditional basket. I particularly like the swan.

As well as a long list of recipes, most of which sound singularly unappealing (watermelon pie?). I might try the watermelon smoothie (lemon yogurt, mint leaves and a dash of cinnamon) or the watermelon popsicles or ice cubes.

Plus a link to watermelon festivals:

Watermelon is a member of the Cucumber family (like the melon) and originated in South Africa, probably in the Kalahari desert, according to the Wikipedia article:
The first record of a watermelon harvest comes from ancient Egypt (5,000 years ago). By the tenth century it was being cultivated in China which is still the world’s largest producer of watermelons. All parts of the watermelon are eaten in China: the rind is often pickled, and the seeds are roasted and seasoned. The fruit is frequently depicted as being eaten by the dead in art for Days of the Dead in Mexico. And there are legends about vampire pumpkins and watermelons in the Balkans:

I am going out looking for a watermelon and will report on what I find later in the day.


Anonymous said...

A friend once carved a watermelon into the shape of a Viking longboat. Pretty impressive.

Vampire watermelons! Hoo hah.


Waverly Fitzgerald said...

I love the idea of a Viking longboat watermelon (but don't have a clue what that would look like). Check out the picture of the vampire watermelon at Wikipedia; apparently they appear to bleed (perhaps juice oozing through the skin?). Anyway, it's quite spooky.